17 Things I Learned in 2017

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I can honestly say that the last 6 years of my life have been some of the most challenging years of my entire life. One of the main reasons I started blogging again in 2017 was to help myself focus on all the good in my life. I’m still working on the person I want to be, and I have a very long way to go. 2017 was a year of growing pains, and I wanted to share some of the things that I have learned over the last year.

One: It is okay if things do not go according to plan

I have always been a planner, and I consider one of my greatest strengths to be my decisive decision making skills. However, when things hit the fan, you have to adapt and change course to account for life. I have finally learned that sometimes you have to roll with the punches, and it is okay if things get delayed because sometimes something even more amazing happens.

Two: Don’t over-schedule

Part of being someone who loves plans is that I like to stick to the schedule, the plan, the itinerary. In fact, I’m often downright militant about the plan. I have learned that sometimes loosening my grip on my schedule and being more generous with timing is okay. It allows for more happy moments, and being a little bit more relaxed has not hurt me at all!

Three: Make your own happiness

Happiness is not something that simply appears – happiness is something you create for yourself. And let me tell you – creating happiness is hard work.

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Four: Work hard, and then work even harder

There is absolutely no substitute for hard work. My mother always says that underneath “lucky” is hard work…. Someone might appear lucky and happy, but the reality is that they work that hard to be in that “lucky” universe.

Five: Live Unapologetically 

Never apologize for your accomplishments. I used to downplay how hard I worked. This year I realized it wasn’t humble but a huge disservice to my hard work. There is nothing wrong with getting credit for the hard work you’ve actually done.

Six: Friendships Evolve

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Seven: Give yourself credit even when things go wrong

A few very important projects went incredibly sideways for me… and the feeling of anger, frustration, and failure stuck with me. It wasn’t until I gave myself credit for trying that I could put those feelings to bed. I did my very best at the time, and that is all that matters.

Eight: Have feelings, cry if you want to

As a child and a young adult, I was the absolute picture of sunshine. And because I had always been happy – I did not understand that I didn’t have to live up what people thought I should be like. It took me a long time to accept that I am allowed to have more than one feeling. I am allowed to be angry, sad, and every color in between…. and most surprisingly? It’s okay to cry.

NineBe your own advocate

I graduated from law school where we learn to advocate for our clients. Our job is to be the absolute best advocate for our clients…. and it still took me years to realize that I have to also be my own advocate. Stand up for what you need, deserve, and know is right. Be strong. Advocate for yourself.

Ten: Speak positively 

“It takes exactly the same energy to say something positive as it does to say something negative or nothing at all.” I wrote that in my journal when I was 16, and I read it again this year and renewed my dedication to that lesson. We all have light and dark inside of us, and I refuse to feed the darkness. It is so easy for us to fall into the dark and cruel commenting with social media, but I refuse to falter. Instead, I have and will continue to channel that energy into good deeds and good words. Be the light.

Eleven: Don’t do things at the expense of your happiness

Your happiness should be your priority…. do not do things that you know steal your happiness.

Twelve: Let go of the friends that hold you back

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Thirteen: Forgive yourself

Forgive yourself. I was angry with myself for a long time…. and I realize those “mistakes” I made were just part of life. My friend told me that those mistakes made me stronger and more interesting and I was finally able to forgive myself.

Fourteen: Forgive those who have hurt you and ask for forgiveness from those you’ve hurt

After struggling through the last few years, I realized that the people who have hurt me must have been suffering too. At the height of my struggle, I could not control my anger and I lashed out at everyone. And, I realized in those angry moments that the people who had hurt me must have been in pain too. In this realization, I asked for forgiveness for those who I had hurt too.

Fifteen: Say NO without apology or excuses

This one I learned from my baby cousin…. she was 3 when I first heard her respond to a question about trying a new toy. “No. Thank. You.” And when asked why? She said, “No. Thank. You.” There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying no when you do not want to do something. You do not need an excuse or an apology. “No, thank you.”

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Sixteen: Take time by yourself

Take time for yourself where there are no interruptions, and you can recharge your batteries. I’ve learned that I need a certain amount of alone time – and it is okay to walk away from social engagements to maintain my balance.

Seventeen: Explore more 

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Thank you so much for visiting! Tell me in the comments what your new years resolutions are, and things you’ve learned this year! ❤ Wishing you the most wonderful 2018!

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Perkins Memorial and the Green Dress

A few years ago, I saw this dress at GAP…. Unfortunately, my size was nowhere to be found. A few weeks later, I saw the dress again, just a single one on the sale rack. Despite the dress being several sizes to large, I gleefully took it home. I cinch the volume of the dress down to my size with a wide belt, and it gives a little extra swing in the dress. Sometimes, like I did here, I layer a swingy petticoat under the skirt for a little extra oopmh. It’s a long time favorite, especially during the hot months when I want to be comfortable, cool, and put together. I think the wide belt adds that extra touch put-together-ness.

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I wore this favorite to a visit to Perkins Memorial. Perkins Memorial is a beautiful drive or hike in the middle of Bear Mountain and it has some fantastic views of Hudson Valley. I visited on a cloudy day, but it was still absolutely breathtaking to see the entire valley in bloom and green. The tower is open seasonally, and the view is even more stunning from the top.

SONY DSCDress: GAP (old, I like this and this from the current collection)
Petticoat: From another dress (Tons of beautiful options on Etsy)
Belt: Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren (Similar here and adore this one)
Sandals: Kate Spade (similar here and love these)
Sunnies: Lacoste (this season’s here)

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Thank you so much for visiting! Tell me in the comments if you’ve visited this part of Hudson Valley before, and what your favorites are!

To Walk on Clouds

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Coyote Hills Regional Park (location)

When I went to this park for the first time a couple years ago, I couldn’t help up stick my head out the window as I drove in, smiling my face off. That smile turned into gleeful skipping as I explored the park, stood on top of the hills and stared down the Bay into San Francisco, and finally slid my reluctant and tired legs into my car that night to go home.  I’ve been back many more times, and each time I feel as if I’m walking on the clouds. Rain or shine, this park is one of my absolute favorites in the Bay Area.

Tell me – what are your favorite parks to visit? Tell me where I should visit next!

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Thank you for visiting!!!!

Pattern Play + Vermillion

Playing with stripes and gingham! I adore how the stripes and gingham play off each other – and how the vermillion shoes and belt contrast with the white and navy. What is your favorite way to play with patterns?

SONY DSCGingham SkirtZara (last seen here, also like this guy)
Stripe Sweater: Banana Republic (similar here and here)
Belt: Found in a shop while traveling (similar here and here)
Flats: Polo Ralph Lauren (similar, and love these )
Sunnies: Lacoste (this season’s here)

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Thanks for visiting!

Twirly Skirt and Camo

SONY DSCI found this camo jacket while I was digging around in my sister’s closet…. ahem… I mean…. It’s mine. And because I can’t resist a twirl worthy skirt (dorky twirl photo included) or a belt – I added both. Tell me: How do you wear camo??

SONY DSCCamo Jacket: Errr….. No tag? (similar here and here)
Maxi Dress: Marciano (similar here and here)
Belt: Ralph Lauren Collection (similar here and affordable here; seriously eyeballing this and this)
Boots: Ralph Lauren Collection (last seen here and similar here)

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Orange Flame

Orange you glad there aren’t any more “in front of my garage” pictures? Hehe hopefully the pictures will all be more interesting going forward! 🙂

SONY DSCFur Scarf: Trilogy (love this from the brand, similar bright color here and here)
Driving Gloves: Adrienne Vittadini (similar here)
Wool Zip Vest: Eileen Fisher (similar here)
Cashmere Dress: Polo Ralph Lauren (similar here)
Tights: Spanx
Flats: Brooks Brothers (more affordable option here)
Sunnies: Lacoste (this season’s here)
Umbrella: Totes (and it’s super packable!)

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