Clearing The Clutter

So how is your Monday morning looking?
This is how mine is looking.

life-changing-magic-of-tidying-up

I was on a fashion shoot yesterday that ran late into the night. You’d be amazed at how many Sunday shoots happen!
Anyway, today is my Sunday, and this is what I’m doing.
I am obsessed with clearing the clutter from every aspect of my life. I want everything to be streamlined and simplified. 
Funnily enough it’s taking much longer than originally planned. Somewhere between being a single parent and working non-stop I’m not keeping up to my schedule, but I am getting there one day (literally!) at a time.

As much as I hate tidying and doing housework, I love shopping at The Container Store, so I look at it as a deal – get this room stripped down,/area decluttered and the reward is buying something new at The Container Store.

My office is now a very beautiful grey and white, and I have been buying up white furniture for it from The Container Store, including this really cool White Leaning Bookcase
icon and a white file cabinet
icon similar to this one.
The Container Store does not give me free products in exchange for reviews. But I seriously wish they would!!

Anyway, before I get started on the next project I’m going to enjoy a cup of coffee and read some more of the de-clutter bible,
Marie Kondo’s fantastic New York Times bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

Oh and congratulations to all the winners of the VIP Passes to the screening of The Choice giveaway. I know you are going to love this film! Winners were notified by email, but there is a list of them on the Rafflecopter widget in the blogpost (see here)

Last week I was working with author and producer Nicholas Sparks doing press for the movie, which was so much fun. Everyone loved the movie! If you are in the mood for a good romance, The Choice opens this Friday (February 5th) nationwide.

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Nicholas Sparks doing breakfast TV for his new film, The Choice

Happy Monday everyone!

13 Things You Should Do At The Start Of Each Year

I’m a huge believer in working to a plan.
When I look back across my life to the times when things have been going really, really well, when I have been achieving big career success and life is just fantastic, to a fault each of these spells was during a time that I was working a plan, had goals written out, knew what I wanted next. It’s like having a road map in hand and if you just follow the map you get to where you want to be.
Conversely the times when nothing much is going on, when I feel like I’m floundering around, trying to find my way, are always the times when I don’t have a plan written out.
So as we kick off this brand new year here is a list of things that you should do every year

girl-sweater-coffee
image source: Rebloggy.com

1. Make A List Of The Bad Things

Sounds counter productive right? But trust me, it isn’t.
Look back at the year that just ended and make a list of the things that stressed you halfway out of your mind, the things that made you nervous, the things that scared or overwhelmed you. Then write down how you won the battle, what the outcome was, how you feel about it now.
We don’t always realize at the front end just how incredibly strong, resilient and fierce we really are. Looking back you’ll find things that terrified you are no longer scary, things you stressed over weren’t worth the energy, and you will see that you have some major coping skills you never even knew you had!
It puts the new year into perspective and gives you a little ammunition to face the inevitable bumps in the road with.

2. Stop Holding Onto Heartache

One of the most destructive things we do is to keep holding onto the relationships that failed. If your heart got broken last year, or if you were let down terribly by someone (it happens to everyone at some point in life), write yourself a letter either forgiving that person, or committing yourself to just letting it go. 
When you hold on to it, relive it, think about it, stay angry or hurt, the only person who suffers is you. That type of thinking is toxic and permeates into the rest of your life. Let it go and move on. If that person comes into your thoughts just send them love and light and close the door on it.
Once you have some distance from the relationship or the issue you will look back and see that holding onto it was a total waste of time anyway.
And if it still really hurts remember ~ This too shall pass ~


3. Set Goals

Whatever it is you want in life, write it down as a goal.
Make financial goals both for the short term and the long term.
Set career goals, relationship goals, travel goals, goals for your home, your car – you name it. The key to success and to achieving the things you want in life is to identify them, get specific, ad then start figuring out a plan to make them happen.
Not sure how to do it? Check out this post on How To Set Goals

4. Make A Budget

The key not just to financial security, but to just making it to the end of the month or the end of the year, is to make a budget that accounts for every dollar you earn and where it is going.
Want to travel? Buy a new car? Put in a swimming pool? Whatever it is that you want, add it to your budget and watch how quickly you can make it happen! 
Not sure how to create a budget? Read this post on How To Make A Budget.


5. Clear The Clutter.

Go through your home and your work-space and clear out all the clutter. You will be amazed at how clearly you can think, how much more relaxed you become when all the clutter is cleared away. According to the art of Feng Shui clutter has a negative effect on us emotionally, physically and mentally.
Read about the absolute magic in simplifying, organizing and clearing your space in Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo’s  world famous book:

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing


6. Clean Out Your Closet.

This ties in with number 5, but is also important on its own.
You will no doubt find great pieces you forgot you had, and in the process can streamline your wardrobe.
You already know what needs to go. Donate and consign everything you need to part with.


7. Clean Out Your Makeup Drawer.

messy-makeup-drawer
image via www.avantderm.com

Take everything out, clean it, and decide what is still good and what needs to be trashed.
Not sure if your makeup has gone bad? Check out this post:
How To Tell If Your Makeup Has Gone Bad

8. Buy New Underwear.

Go through your lingerie drawer and toss anything that’s no longer in tip top shape. Any undies that have bad elastic, saggy bottoms, frayed edges, have faded color, don’t fit quite right, especially your every day items – get rid of them. I think it’s a great idea to start the year with fresh, new, everyday underwear.
Try the beautiful Natori Bliss Bloom Thong
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Natori-panties
Natori’s beautiful Bliss Bloom Thong is the perfect addition to your New Year Undies Collection 

9. Get Fitted For A Bra

At least once every year you should get refitted for a bra.
Sometimes you will find nothing has changed, other times, especially after weight loss or weight gain, changes in hormones, changes in exercise routines, you will find things really have changed.
Unless you want boobies that are saggy and limp and hang down to your belly button, you need to stay on top of how your bras fit.
(I can’t stress this enough for full breasted / heavy breasted girls – we are fighting gravity more than all the other girls!)

10. Re -Evaluate Your Skincare Products

Its so easy to just stick with what you’ve been using for ages, and not realize that its no longer working any magic on your skin.
Your skin’s needs changes with the climate, with your age, with your changing hormones. If you want luminous, glowing, healthy skin you need to change up the products you’re using to meet your skin’s needs.
I’m in love with Korean skin care and the way the Korean women with their world famous, exquisite skin, layer their products. You can read about it here: West Face East ~ How To Layer Your Skin Care Korean-Style
I buy all my Korean skin care products online through Memebox
icon, one of the world’s largest skin care stores.


11. Rearrange Your Space

scandanavian-decor
image via Adorable-Home.com

Changing the layout of the rooms you spend the most time in changes how you perceive that space. Sometimes it’s all you need to feel refreshed and invigorated and inspired.
And if you don’t like it, you can always change it back.
I just love white, Scandinavian style bedrooms.

12. Book A Trip.

You need to at least plan some travel for the year ahead. 
Maybe it’s a big overseas trip, maybe it’s a long weekend. Plan a beach vacation, a mountain retreat, or an escape to a new city. Whatever fits your style, just get it on the calendar. 
If you don’t plan it out at the beginning of the year, chances are another year will roll by and you will have gone nowhere.

I book my travel both domestic and international, using Booking.com
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Booking.com

13. Buy A Really Great Pair Of Shoes

Sometimes this means forecasting it to the season where you really need them, but try buying a pair of really good quality, timeless, walk-around-all-day-and-still-feel-great shoes. Shoes that go with everything, that look chic, and make you feel fabulous.
They will set you back a little (or a lot) more, but a really good shoe is a great investment in yourself.

Prada-Wingtip-Loafer
Prada Wingtip Oxford Loafer

I bought myself this Prada Wingtip Platform Loafer
icon (in black though) for my birthday. I will wear them forever. You can find them at Nordstrom
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New Year, New You ~ 10 Phrases You Should Drop From Your Vocabulary

Like it or not, verbal mistakes will undermine your credibility.
You are starting out the new year with resolve to get fit, lose weight, save money, so why not add this to your list?

success.com
image via Success,com

Researchers believe that the earliest spoken language was Mayan, which was around 7,000 years ago. Imagine, in 70 centuries, we’ve progressed to “….. and I was like really???”

You want to be taken seriously, right? You want people to stop and listen when you speak, you want them to consider your opinion and value your input. If you want to have integrity and influence, consider dropping these 10 phrases from your vocabulary.

The following is excerpted from an article written by Lou Solomon for Success.com


10 Phrases You Should Drop From Your Vocabulary

1. “I’m confused,” or “I don’t get it.”

Instead of putting all the responsibility on the other person, take co-ownership. Say, “Help me understand your position,” and remain open.

2. “You know what I mean?” and “Does that make sense?”

Asking for constant validation chips away at your command.

3. “I was like…” or “She was like…”

The word “like” is an unsophisticated setup that gets in the way of your clarity and credibility.

4. “Um, ah, uh, you know.”

Watch out for overuse of filler words and practice pausing to counteract the clutter.

5. “I’ve been too busy” or “I started writing an email and forgot to send it.”

Excuses are unattractive. Say, “I apologize for the inconvenience. You will have it by tomorrow.”

6. “Out-of-the-box thinking”

… should be retired. We can’t escape all the buzzword phrases, but ones like this have become boring.

7. “You always…”

Sweeping generalizations lack insight and get in the way of healthy dialogue. Be specific and avoid using vague blame tactics.

8. “I think we should kind of do it this way.”

Tentative language waters down your presence as a confident communicator. Make a solid recommendation and own it.

9. “I hate to say this, but…” and “John is a good person, but…”

Don’t try to disguise criticism with a layer of caring or say things that offer zero value.

10. “Really?”

It’s an all-purpose complaint that sounds like whining. Try making an interesting observation instead.

If you want to have more credibility and influence, be uh, like, you know, more intentional in your communication. Replace negative tone and lackluster words with positive tone and authentic appreciative words. Each new day is an opportunity to inspire greatness, so say something real.