Thursday, January 31, 2013

Valentine's Day Gift Guide: Hints for Him







1. Kate Spade Dress (worn by Taylor Swift! Also available in pink/coral)


If you're anything like me, when my sweetie asks me to give him gift ideas of things I'd like or that I need, I seem to draw a blank on the spot. This year I'm a bit more prepared, I found a lovely assortment of items that I simply adore, some will be within his 'student' budget at the moment and some will not, but I thought it would be fun to share my favorites with all of you. Perhaps these will inspire your own Valentine's Day wish list so this year you can be prepared when asked what lovelies you fancy. If you don't have a Valentine or just like to pamper yourself with something extra special this time of year (I'm guilty of it), you can never go wrong with a new pair of pumps!

This list covers the bases for all things lovely: elegant and classic striped party dress, a dreamy scented candle, decadent sweet treats, an investment handbag that I can wear for the next 7 months and years to come, cute nude bow pumps which are perfect for spring and summer, a little sparkle for my ears, colorful lip therapy and a beautiful coffee table book that will transport me back to the city of love, where we got engaged. :)




Speaking of Valentine's Day, the randomly selected winner of our Datevitation Giveaway is Jennifer Alice Duran! Congratulations and I'll be in touch soon with your instructions to create your very own love coupon book so it will be mailed to you before Feb.14th.

Now it's your turn, which gift of the 8 above would you be delighted to open up on Valentine's Day?

Thanks for reading!

XO




*Please note: I am not compensated for writing this post, all opinions are my own.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fashion Friday: Huge Sale at Loft-Today Only!



So how are you doing? Looking forward to the weekend and glad it's Friday? I've got something to make your transition to the weekend even sweeter. I had a totally different Fashion Friday post planned for you today, however when I was reading through my inbox I noticed that Loft, one of my favorite stores for classic; timeless and trendy clothing, was having a massive sale and I knew I had to share it with all of you! What makes it so great is that they are offering (for today only) 50% OFF everything whether it's a new arrival item for Spring or a winter piece you've had your eye on for weeks.

So, if you're ready too add some colorful new spring pieces to your wardrobe or you just need a few more items to get you through winter, they've got everything you need. They've got 750 sale items marked down another 60% off as well. Loft offers everything from regular, petite, tall and also maternity for all you mamas-to-be. They also offer shoes, boots and accessories too. Don't miss out on this one! Click here to start shopping and be sure to use code: SHOP50 at checkout. 



Spring weather has already begun here in Florida so I thought I'd share some of my personal Loft favorites for Spring with you. Here are 9 pieces I'm loving right now! :)









1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9


Last spring and summer we saw hints of the 80's inspired neon colors everywhere, the neon yellow is my favorite in small splashes. I am obsessed with quality blazers in every color and print, they pull together a top and jeans like nothing else! I'm still enjoying peplum and although I didn't embrace the color 'mint' last spring, it's starting to grow on me. I love my heels but flats are more practical most days, I practically live in them on the weekends. Don't you just love all the colored denim and printed denim available these days? I thought the polka dot pair were cute and I own the stretch skinnies shown in a blue-ish purple, poppy red and dark denim-they fit like a dream. Over the past few years I've grown my belt collection with a lot more patterns and colors. This year I'm looking to add a couple belts with the flower details, they're so flirty and fun!


What are YOUR favorites for spring? Now it's your turn to pick up some fun finds for spring. The sale ends tonight so don't miss out!


Thanks for reading & happy weekend!

XO


Thursday, January 24, 2013

How to Properly Accept a Compliment



Today's topic is a gentle reminder and may seem like a relatively obvious point for some, but you would be surprised at the amount of women who still when offered a compliment, brush it off as if it's no big deal or instead share what they don't like about their new haircut, home, career, etc. This is not humility lovelies, rather it is disrespectful and a bit of a slap in the face to the one who chose to pay you the compliment. A smile along with a simple "Thank you" are all that is required. :)

Even if you're truly not fond of your new bangs, the necklace your significant other bought you or the way the paint color turned out in your kitchen, if someone has taken the time to pay you a compliment, accept it graciously. It can be insulting to some, as if you are telling them that they don't have good taste, if they like something that you find flaws with.

A little something to think about the next time someone catches you off guard with a kind compliment.

If you enjoy quick tips and reminders like these, come like us on Facebook where you'll finding me posting all things encouraging, uplifting, inspiring and ladylike tips daily. :)

Thanks for Reading!

XO


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Datevitation Valentine's Review & Giveaway!



Have you been racking your brain trying to think of what kind of new, fun, creative and romantic gift you can buy or create for your special someone for Valentine's Day? Well, I've got something that covers all that ground and if you stick around until the end of the post you'll have a chance to win this great gift!

      But first, a company named Datevitation contacted me a couple weeks ago wanting to sponsor my blog. They also generously offered to have me review one of their custom products and have me raffle one off here for on of my lucky readers. Pretty sweet, right?! If you haven't heard of Datevitation before, they are a totally fresh approach to the love coupon books. They are the web's first online platform to create a custom love coupon book. Unlike the pre-packaged love coupon books on the market, you pick the dates and can customize the text to your liking. Once you are done customizing the text in your book, Datevitation will print out and ship it to you in a ready-to-gift box. What's neat is that their library contains over 200 date ideas ranging from skydiving to a picnic in the park




       They also have over 60 book cover options to suit any occasion, not just Valentine's Day. What I love most about this kind of gift is that you're making memories together instead of buying things that your honey may or may not need. Time spent together building memorable moments are always treasured in our home. I'm thrilled that my Datevitation book will be part of hubby's Valentine's gift this year. Shhhh, don't tell! ;)

When I visited the website, they made it so easy for me. It literally took me about 7 minutes to build my book and check out! I really like the quality of the their booklets. The pages are part matte/part glossy (not too shiny which I like) and each date page had a perforation so your love can tear them out and redeem them complete with a 'redeemed date' that you can fill out.

Now it's your turn!! Enter to win a Datevitation book of your very own to create for your love. Simply enter via the Rafflecopter entry form below as regular blog comment entries will not count. Please note that the first 3 entry criteria are mandatory, the others optional, to win. This giveaway will end on Jan.30th and I'll announce the winner on Jan.31st. Don't worry, you'll have plenty of time to create your book and have it shipped to you before Valentine's Day! *Open to U.S. Residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Don't want to wait to see if you win the giveaway? Books normally start at just $20 so it makes for a thoughtful yet economical gift. But as a special treat for The Classy Woman readers, you can use the code 'CLASSY' at checkout for $10 off any purchase in January. That means you can get your sweetie a custom love coupon book for Valentine's Day starting at just $10!

Thanks for reading & Good Luck!

XO

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Huge Mod Cloth Coat & Dress Sale!




If you haven't had a chance to check out the vintage-inspired women's apparel company, Mod Cloth, you'll definitely want to take a peek. Right now they have a huge 'cabin fever' sale running for a short time with deals up to 70% off! They have a lovely selection of clothing, in particular I think you'll really like their dresses and coats. Now's the time to stock up for next year while still getting to wear your favorites now also. It's a great place to find the perfect dress for Valentine's Day too, which is just right around the corner!

Mod Cloth is one of our blog sponsors this month and you can find their banner in our sponsor sidebar. I love a good sale so I happened to take a peek today to see what was available from their sale items and there were so many it was hard to choose, I knew I had to share some of my favorites with you! :) If you see something that you like, some items have limited quantities so don't hesitate and then miss out! I've had that happen on a few items this season from various vendors that never came back in stock which was a bit disappointing.

Here are some of my favorites, everything shown is under $50 including the coats!!




This gorgeous highly-rated pea coat is called the 'Don't stop Be-weaving' coat. 
It's classy, elegant and priced to sell at just $46





At just $42 and top ratings, how could you pass up a 
pop of color with this 'Raspberry Parade' coat?





This 'Urban Legendary' versatile black coat got rave reviews and it's only $46!





Craving a little peplum? How about this 'Yacht Frock' dress at just $15?!
Even though it's a winter sale, this dress is perfect for spring/summer!



This 'With the Mostess' dress is just $26 and got 5 star reviews. How perfect for spring/summer. 
A one-sleeve dress adds some asymmetrical interest.



This 'Gift Swap' dress is just $40! I just love the classic lines and charming bows. 






The sale is running for a limited time, to find all of my selections and many more great options, click this sale link. You can search any item name in the search bar on the website. :)


Thanks for reading!

XO




Monday, January 21, 2013

Manners Monday: Smoking Etiquette




Let me begin by telling you that I do not smoke and never have. The very smell alone of a lit cigarette or stale smoke smell from those sitting in an ashtray makes me nauseous. Hubby and both happen to be allergic to cigarette smoke too so we really try to avoid it at all costs, going the extra mile to ensure we won't be exposed to it. Thankfully, nearly all of my friends and family are also non-smokers.

Even with all of the education today about how smoking negatively affects one's health (not to mention the deterioration of one's physical appearance) there are many that are still highly addicted and desperately want to quit and those who have no desire to stop at all. While many will argue that they aren't hurting anyone around them, the truth is that second-hand and even third-hand smoke are both deadly. For a non-smoker, I find it the ultimate  lack of respect for another human being when someone chooses to light up around others who don't care for it, usually unsuspecting nearby restaurant patrons, strangers, etc.

This post today is for those that fall into the smoking category, while I don't support this habit in any way, there is some etiquette to consider to ensure that you aren't upsetting or harming any innocent bystanders around you. A lady is always considerate of the air space of those around her.

1. Never Smoke while Pregnant- In this case, the innocent one is your unborn child who is most at risk. Babies exposed to smoke often have a much lower birth weight, premature delivery and other health problems down the road including asthma and even death.

2. Avoid Smoking near Pregnant Women & Children- It is not only rude but unacceptable to smoke in the presence of a baby, children, the elderly or expectant mothers. It's not appropriate to smoke in the company of anyone who does not smoke themselves. Excuse yourself from your current location and move outdoors to an area where there is nobody within view who could be inhaling the cigarette smoke.

3. Poor Locations to Smoke- Not only is it important to know who not to smoke around, but also what areas do not permit smoking. Typically most airports have a safe distance around the doors that does not allow for smoking. Even if a sign does not indicate it, never smoke near an open window, or doorway as the smoke will get sucked in like a vacuum while the doors open and close.

4. Always Ask Permission- When in the company of new business associates or any other adult that you've never met before, always ask permission if you plan to smoke before lighting up. If the majority of those around you do not smoke, for goodness sake, don't subject them to it! Instead let them know that you respect their health too much to smoke in front of them and step outside instead. If the majority of those in your presence also smoke themselves, be careful to only do so once everyone has finished eating every course of their meal. Smoking while others are eating is a quick way to ruin someone's meal and cause them to never want to dine with you again.

5. Extinguishing a Cigarette- It is only considerate to use an ashtray while dining outdoors or elsewhere where you'll be sitting. While standing, be mindful of where you're letting your ashes drop. When you are finished, do not let the butt fall to the ground and step on it leaving it there as many often do. Tap out the ashes or squish it if you must but be sure to put it into a public ashtray receptacle or into the trash, never leave it on the ground. We find cigarette butts on our lawn every now and then from those walking by, it's very disrespectful and is no different than any other type of litter.



As it pertains to herself, a lady knows the risk that smoking has on both her overall health as well as her reproductive system specifically and weighs the harmful effects and risk before even taking up such a habit.

I'd love to hear from you, if you have any specific tips as either a smoker or non-smoker, I'd love for you to share them in the comments below to help encourage a cleaner, safer environment for everyone.

Thanks for Reading!

XO



*image source

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

eShakti Dress Giveaway Winner!





We had 25 entries for the burgundy & black color block winter dress by eShakti which was great to see considering it was a very specific size up for grabs! I always use Random.org to keep things fair for everyone and the winner was No. 20!





Congratulations to Camille who shared that she would wear the dress to church with black boots!! Camille, if you can e-mail me your mailing address I'll ship the dress out to your tomorrow. :) Enjoy your eShakti dress!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered this giveaway, there will be more giveaways coming soon! I've recently been contacted by a few new sponsors and we've got some fun giveaways in the works. Stay tuned.

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!

XO


Friday, January 11, 2013

Fashion Friday: Stella & Dot for 2013



Don't you just love the feeling of fresh and new?! That's one of the reasons I really love ringing in the new year and everywhere we look new trends for 2013 are popping up, including late winter/early spring designs and colors. Stella & Dot jewelry is no exception, they just launched their new spring collection and it includes some colorful, spring pieces that I wanted to share with you all. It may be chilly, cloudy or gloomy where you are but you can add a bit of cheer to your day by incorporating bright pops of color to any outfit to get you through winter as we transition into spring.

You might remember that I shared my all-time favorite Stella & Dot pieces in this post just a couple months ago. I'm glad to see that these pieces are still around  because many of them are still on my wish list, I'm still adding to my 'fun money fund' so I can grab the pieces I'll wear most often.


My Top 10 Spring Collection Favorites....











  9. Raina Earrings  //  10. Betty Hoops


While Stella & Dot is one of our sponsors, this post is not a promotional piece for them, I'm just really excited about their new line and love the quality and affordability of their beautiful jewelry.

It's January, which means Stella & Dot is offering an amazing deal again to those who want to increase their income this year and also do something they love by becoming their own independent stylist/consultant. It's perfect for stay-at-home mom's, those who work from home already or really anyone looking to make some extra cash on weekends or weeknights, etc. Included in your start-up kit is hundreds of dollars of jewelry so that you can select pieces that you love best (the best part is you'll have a whole new assortment of pieces to jazz up your everyday outfits-bonus!) and will include all the materials you need to make your business a success!

So, if you love fashion, have always wanted to start your own business with minimal investment and have fun along the way, this is a great way to do it. Make 2013 the year you achieve all your dreams!



Click here to see the full spring collection. So, which new pieces do you like best from the new 2013 Stella & Dot line?

Thanks for Reading & Happy Friday!

XO


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

eShakti Dress Review & Giveaway!



A few months ago I was contacted by the lovely people at eShakti, a women's clothing line that specializes in making custom fitted clothing. What I really love about their whole line is that any hemline can be lengthened, shortened and specific details about any item itself can be changed such as the neckline for a dress or top. As someone who sometimes struggles to find the perfect length hem for dresses and pants since I carry most of my height in my legs, I was pretty excited to have the opportunity to review one of their dresses!



As I had never ordered from eShakti before, I decided to play it safe and order on the larger side. That turned out not to be such a great idea. lol. The first dress I selected wound up being too large for me and after speaking with the company, they encouraged me to stay closer to my true size and even a little smaller as their sizing works a bit differently. The next dress, my red dress shown here was the winner and I couldn't be more happy with it! This is the only red dress to hang in my closet at the moment as I've recently cleaned out my closet and made donations. I love the fit and flare style with A-line cut and flouncy skirt, the optional tie belt which I'm wearing with it and the slight sweetheart neckline with a gathered look around the bust turned out to be very flattering. It is perfect for twirling on the dance floor or even sitting at a dinner table as it's really comfy.



I custom ordered the length so that it would hit right at the knee (tea-length) which is not too short or too long and can be worn for many occasions and events throughout the year. This dress has an invisible zipper on the side. When I received the dress it had hidden pockets as many trendy dresses do these days, but that's just not me, I'm always pulled towards classic pieces with simple lines that are more feminine and elegant than playful, so I took it to my seamstress and had her remove the pockets, as I didn't want any additional bulk near the hip area. I thought I'd be okay with the pockets or I would have had eShakti remove them since they create custom garments. I'd also like to add that eShakti's shipping was super quick! I was shocked at how fast each dress arrived-definitely a nice little surprise.



I wore this dress during our Caribbean Christmas cruise spent on Celebrity Cruise lines, choosing to wear it on Christmas Eve to our formal dinner. :) Sorry about the fuzzy photos after enlarging them a bit, my current camera is not the greatest. A new one is definitely on my wish list this year! ;)




****THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED****


Now comes the fun part...you know that first dress that didn't work out? Well, instead of simply returning it, the kind folks at eShakti asked if I'd like to run a giveaway so one of my readers could win one of their dresses. We have a lovely burgundy & black fall/winter sheath dress up for grabs!! While both my red dress and the giveaway dress are no longer available online for purchase or for me to show you on the model (due to the new Spring line slowly being released), please take a look at the pictures I've included below. It's burgundy/bordeaux & black with a faux flap pocket detail front and back and had an exposed zipper on the reverse. It has a capped sleeve and very small slit in the back. While the photos might have a pinkish-tint, it is more deep burgundy red-brown than pink.






*Please note that the dress is brand new but was tried on by me for all of 30 seconds. Although the size is marked as Small/6 it fits more like a regular size 8-10. It has stretch to it which is why I suggest up to size 10. It runs long, it hits below the knee so if you're not 5'9" or taller like myself, you may have to have it hemmed up to to the length you prefer. This giveaway includes free shipping, I'll be shipping the dress to you from my home. :) Since this is a very specific size and length, we'll likely have a lot less entries than usual, the odds are in your favor!

How to Enter:

1. First Entry- Must be a "public" follower of this blog via Google Friend Connect. Simply click follow in my right sidebar. Leave a comment telling me you did as well as where you would wear this burgundy & black sheath dress. To the office, church, an upcoming event, etc.

2. Second Entry- Leave a second comment after you "Like" The Classy Woman Facebook page. :)

3. Third Entry- Leave a third comment after you've shared the link to this giveaway via Twitter, Facebook or your blog. Leave me your page name/twitter handle or link to your blog post.

*This Giveaway for the size 8-10 burgundy & black sheath dress ends January.15th at 11pm EST. The winner will be selected at random via Random.org to keep things fair. I'll announce the winner on January.16th and contact the winner for their shipping details. Giveaway open to U.S. & Canadian residents only.

Good luck ladies & thanks for reading!

XO



Monday, January 7, 2013

Manners Monday: Pet Etiquette




As an Interior Decorator, I often have clients whose home I'm invited into that own pets. I've experienced a lot of interesting scenarios as a result, as everyone has different limits for their beloved animals. I thought it was time to do a post on pet etiquette. While I don't currently have any pets at the moment (hubby is allergic), I really enjoy how sweet pets can be and I've owned several cats over the years and know there are certain considerations one must make as it pertains to pets and visitors.

If you are a pet owner or considering becoming one, here are 7 suggestions on how to love them but still show guests in your home that you respect them also. There are so many more suggestions but for the sake of post length, I'm including these key points only.  Feel free to share you own pet etiquette tips in the comments below!


1. Clean up after Your Pets- Just yesterday hubby and I went for a walk around our favorite lake and park downtown. A woman was walking her dog, he had stopped and left a mess that would be difficult to clean up as it was less solid than she expected. She looked around and said, "oh, now how am I going to clean this up?" and decided to just keep walking! We've had neighbors walk their dogs past our house only later to discover they let their dog leave their business on our lawn and didn't bother to clean it up. This is just basic decency and is one of the major responsibilities of owning a dog. Pet waste transmits disease and contaminates drinking water. Always bring a baggie and always clean up after your pet.

2. Keep them Leashed- Not only for a pup's safety but for the safety of passersby, a dog should be leashed in public areas. Some parks allow for dogs to run free, and is the exception. Sadly, I've heard too many stories where dogs have charged across a street and attacked small children including a family member on my husband's side who had to have stitches, creating an awkward situation as the dog belonged to a neighbor. Likewise, unleashed dogs can also attack other dogs, cats or innocent animals nearby such as squirrels, etc.

3. Allergy Alert- As a pet owner, it's tricky sometimes as many have allergies to both dogs and cats. Your loving pet could be the trigger for an unsuspecting house guest or service person. It's awkward as the person who has the allergy to even ask or make the assumption that the animal will  not be roaming around when they're at the house, so as the owner, it's best to ask people who you do not know well if they have pet allergies. When I owned cats, I always tried my best to place my indoor cat in the guest bedroom with her food, water and other essentials for a few hours while I entertained. I value my friendships and anything that could be done to make things easier, I did. I also carried allergy medication in my medicine cabinet for my own pollen allergies and would offer it to anyone who was particularly sensitive because I know having allergies can really do a number on you sometimes.

4. Keep Fido Down- Perhaps one of the most frustrating things as a guest in someone's home, is when the owner's dog wants to jump on you whether at the front door or while sitting on the sofa, etc. When I was a teen, a good friend of mine had a German Shepard who loved to rush to the door and jump on people. Once during the summer, his nails scratched me from shoulders to toes and left scratches all over. To this day, I try to avoid large dogs for that reason. While I love animals, I don't enjoy a dog, putting their paws up on me to beg while at the table or slobbering on my expensive black dress pants and jumping on me and snagging my top and covering me in hair. When a guest arrives if your dog is not well trained or behaved, be sure to place the dog in their crate first, in the backyard or have them by you on a leash so you can control what they are doing. Dogs look to their owners for training and are happy to obey, as a pet owner one of the most important things to teach them is not to jump!

5. Hair-Free Zone- When inviting others into your car or home, be sure to vacuum and dust well, using a lint roller or other tools to trap hair if necessary. Nobody should come to your home in black and leave with their clothes and socks covered in light pet hair, etc. I've visited many homes where this has been the case and it's frustrating. Even when you do a thorough cleaning, pet hair will pop up, keep a few sticky lint rollers on hand-one for your car and one for your home, not only to keep you looking polished but also anyone who attracts your pet's residual pet hair onto their clothing. It's an inexpensive investment and shows others you're mindful of them.

6. Prevent Endless Barking- Just like children, animals need to be reminded when they are doing something to irritate others. While it is a dog's natural instinct to bark, most do not enjoy listening to incessant barking. We have a few neighbors who do not adhere to such logic and often allow their dogs to bark for hours on end, which makes things particularly frustrating for those like myself who work from home and try to hold conference calls, etc. If you do not plan to be home, your dog should be kept indoors, if you are home and the dog barks for more than a couple mins, the decent thing would be to bring your dog inside.

7. Make the Call- Last but not least, if you are to be a guest in another's home and know that they have a dog, cat, snake, etc., part of the responsibility of making everyone feel comfortable is yours. If you do not enjoy the company of pets, are allergic or are freaked out by pet iguanas, etc., you may not want to make your host uncomfortable by spending time in their home. While it is important for dogs to be trained, if you are aware that the pet owner allows the cats to walk across the dining room table, attack your ankles or their dog is constantly trying to lick your face or jump on you while you're seated, it may be easier to spend time with them in your home or out somewhere so you'll both be comfortable.


While many pet owners love their pets and don't see why they should inconvenience themselves or tuck their not-so-well-behaved pet away in their own home, consider this: Good manners are always about making others feel comfortable and respected. A good host is responsible for the comfort of his/her guests. Anything less than this is poor manners and shows that you value your animal and their lack of discipline over a guest's level of comfort. For those that possess such an attitude about pets vs. people, it may be best not to entertain in your home for everyone's sake.





Do you own a pet? Is there a specific suggestion you have for pet owners based on personal experience, please share! Comments are always appreciated. :)

Thanks for reading!

XO




*image source


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Being Perfect isn't Required to Inspire Others




I'm going to open myself up here and share what's been on my heart for a while. Even though I consider myself to be a confident person, from time to time I feel anything but. One thing I've really struggled with over the past few years as it pertains to finishing my book (which some of you have been asking me about), is that I want to inspire and even be a role model to others, especially young women, and yet I'm not perfect in all the things I share on this blog or write about in my book. I know, I know-who is? I was raised by two loving, awesome parents but our home was filled with perfectionist expectations at times that has no doubt rubbed off on me and that I've carried for years into adulthood.

Sometimes I really mess up and it shakes me, it makes me question whether I'm qualified to even write this book or this blog! I suppose the positive is that I'm self aware enough to realize the moment I say or do something that I'm not pleased with, that there is always another chance to make better choices the next time. The quote above was a much needed reminder and confirmation for me that we can still inspire others even though we ourselves are not perfect. Even though I know that none of us are perfect nor called to be, just perfected over time, I have created unnecessary pressure and fears causing me to put my beloved work on the back burner quite often.

Now, sometimes pressure is a good thing as it comes as the result of evaluating where we are at and where we'd like to be in various areas of our life. It can help propel us forward and challenges us to be better, but other times when too much is present, it can be crippling. I've really wanted this book to be a blessing to other women who desire to be elegant, ladylike, graceful and classy. Sometimes even when everyone around us believes in us and sees our abilities and gifts, we still lose sight and do not see what they see in us or the very gifts God has given us to share with others.



The other day I had the pleasure of receiving a message on Facebook from a lovely reader whom I've never met before, only conversed with via the blog and on Facebook, she's been following along for a few years. I was so touched and blessed by her words which I could only describe as a confirmation from heaven of one major thing I wish to accomplish this year which is finishing the book. The timing couldn't be more perfect as I had finally turned a corner weeks earlier building myself up, squashing my fears and just accepting myself as the flawed and imperfect woman I am-someone who can still inspire, impart wisdom and provide real ways to become one's best self as a classy woman regardless of her own faults at times, as none of us are without faults. I'm grateful for her encouragement and thoughtfulness in reaching out to me which I'm convinced was orchestrated through the Lord who has heard my prayers and wanted to lift me up!

Friends, I'm happy to tell you that I'm back on track and cannot wait to announce the release of my book in the coming months. I'm also going to do my best to post more often here on the blog also. This book has been a labor of love and a good portion of it is already written, however I have more to add and a lot of editing to do. While I had the cover designed a few years ago when I had originally planned to publish it, I'm sketching out some new ideas for that as well. I'm excited not only about the final product but the journey, it's teaching me a lot about myself along the way, things that I could never have imagined.



I write all of this to say that it's okay not to be perfect! If I've held myself back because of this fear, I know I'm not alone. There are others doing the same right now and I'd hate for anyone else to miss great opportunities, put their dreams on hold or withdraw from positively impacting another's life because they feel as though they aren't good enough as they are right now! I want to encourage you through my own example that it's okay to make mistakes, they are proof that we are trying.

Thank you for letting me share what has been on my heart with you. Sometimes it just helps to get the words out and off my mind. Perhaps it will explain why my blog posts have been a bit sporadic at times. Sharing all of this with you also keeps me accountable too, I take keeping my word seriously so now I have some work to do to make my dream a reality.

Have you felt this way in a particular area of your life? Has it prevented you from reaching your wildest dreams? Have you been in a similar place then overcame those feelings, I'd love to hear from you! All encouraging words are welcome. :)

Wishing you a wonderful start as you enjoy the first few days of this New Year!

XO



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