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How To Look Like You’ve Got Your Sh*t Together

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In this era of social media facades, online filters and constant smoke-and-mirror performances, it’s becoming harder and harder to distinguish reality from well, everything else.

Although at times you may feel like your daily life is being held together by a complicated network of duct tape, there is always someone you know that just seems to have their sh*t together. They exude this air of confidence, of professionalism and just general IDGAF (a.k.a. I don’t give a f….) that makes them the envy of the rest of us.

I’m NOT that person.

But I DO know a few little tips and tricks to help you join the “I have my sh*t together” club! Surprisingly, these # things are neither expensive nor difficult — so let’s get to it so that the next time you are tired, stressed, or pulled in 1000 different directions, no one has to know…

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1. Focus on your accessories

It really is true, a great pair of shoes or a handbag can make an outfit! It’s important to have sharp, eye catching accessories that can upgrade a basic look. That being said, it’s even more important to take good care of those leather goods. One of my stylist pet-peeves is seeing shoes and handbags worn, scuffed and creased beyond repair. All it takes is a quick occasional visit to a good cobbler and a few dollars to give those accessories new life… it’s a no brainer.

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Look like you've got your shit together
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2. Own a power suit

Now, don’t go and take this literally… it doesn’t have to be a suit, per se, but every woman should own one structured and amazing fitting piece in their wardrobe that makes them feel simply fabulous. In my case, it’s a black IRO BLAZER and my A.L.C. leather pants (no longer available, but THESE are similar and THESE are a faux-leather version). Whenever I put either of these pieces on (they’re even better together!) I automatically feel pulled together and ready to take on whatever lay ahead.

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How to look like you've got your shit together

3. Manicure

Chipped nails and raggedy cuticles aren’t a good look on anyone – so don’t do it. If weekly professional manicures are not in the budget or on the busy agenda, try a simple at home manicure. It only takes a few minutes, some CUTICLE LOVE, and a few coats of a clear or sheer PINK POLISH to get your digits in tip top shape.

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How to look like you've got your sh*t together
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4. Keep it organized

Leather pouches are my savior on some days. I personally own 2: one designated for my tech accessories (cords, earbuds, chargers, pens and screen cleaning wipes), the other for beauty and health (floss, mints, travel perfume, Aleve, lip balm, tampons, etc.). Using these pouches is a major time saver when switching bags or running out the door in a frenzy — I always keep the bags well stocked, so I know I have everything I could possibly need with me along for the ride. Best of all, I can pull out one of the pouches to use as a clutch anytime an occasion arises.

In addition to my CLARE V. pouches, I’ve been recently introduced to a local Cleveland designer (shop local, folks!), BLAIR RITCHEY. Blair’s PAKS are designed with wipeable nylon interiors and a flat bottom so that they can stand up on their own. Best of all they come in great colors and textures with mix and match tassels that can be added on for custom flair. Definitely check her out!

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How To Look Like You've Got Your Sh*t Together
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5. Stand Up Straight

My mom is probably getting a good chuckle out of this one because as far back as I can remember, my mom always nudged me to push my shoulders back and stop slouching! Good posture exudes strength and confidence (not to mention, makes you look thinner!) and on certain days, you just have to fake it until you make it. Constant screen time or sitting at a desk is a major posture wrecker so make sure to take a moment to realign your spine!

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6. Blush

I’m sure you’ve heard that a coat of bright lipstick can instantly change a look, or even a day, but I’ll even go a step further to say that more important than lipstick is blush! A sweep of pink blush brightens your face and gives anyone a healthy glow on the outside even if the inside is feeling less than ideal. I always keep my RMS LIP2CHEEK pot in my handbag for situations just like these!

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5 Easy Ways To Live a More Organized Life in 2016

5 Easy Ways To Live a More Organized Life in 2016

Welcome to the Dead Zone of 2015, as I lovingly refer to it.

This week is the one time of year that no major projects are started, no significant decisions are made, and we live in a state of status quo… at least until that magic ball drops at the stroke of midnight, January 31st. While it’s nice to relish in the low-stress Dead Zone after the chaos of the holiday, it’s also the perfect time to set yourself up for success in the New Year.

5 Easy Ways To Live a More Organized Life in 2016

As we all prepare for a fresh start in 2016, it’s important that we evaluate the year behind us. What could we have done differently? How have we grown? How have we succeeded? How have we failed? Once we take that personal inventory, it becomes much simpler to set new goals for ourselves. As we all know, that’s only half the battle — the true fight is staying organized and on-task to stick with these goals and watch them spring into life.

Over my 30-some (cough, cough…) years, I’ve learned the best way to make sh*t happen is to break your task down into more manageable and attainable increments. This requires some work on our part, however the most important piece lies in organization. Organization obviously keeps things in order, but most importantly it gives you control of your situation.

5 Easy Ways To Live a More Organized Life in 2016

Ahhh, Janet Jackson said it best when she sang:

“This is a story about control
My control
Control of what I say
Control of what I do
And this time I’m gonna do it my way
So let’s get to it…”

5 Easy Ways To Live a More Organized Life in 2016

1. Keep Your Head In The Game

Our most fundamental organization tools are ones that we often ignore or mistreat. In 2016 take the time to fuel the machine, as they say — stay well rested, well fed, hydrated and active. Our best decisions are always made when our physical bodies are in good working order.

Just think about that time when you had to do something important after a late night, or a few drinks, or even a huge meal. I would imagine your head wasn’t exactly in the game, leading to sluggish or unfocused behavior. Small positive changes in this area can reap huge rewards when it comes to staying organized or meeting our goals. Add 10 more minutes of physical activity a day, save that last episode of Homeland and go to bed at a reasonable hour, add more veggies and whole grains into your diet, drink more water… all of these small tweaks have an impact.

Here are some of my favorite products/tools to help keep me going even during my most stressful periods:

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2. Automate, Automate, Automate

We live in a time and place that requires us to remember and stay on top of a lot of things simultaneously. I mean A LOT of things…

When was that bill due!? What time did I need to be there!? When is that project due!?

The most organized and productive people don’t have amazing photographic memories (well, maybe a few do…) they have the luxury of automation. Your cell phone is one of the easiest and best ways to stay on top of your life. It’s a resource all of us have, yet only a few use effectively. Automate your bill pay electronically. Set up electronic reminders when a deadline is coming near. Use apps like MY FITNESS PAL to keep track of calories and water consumed, as well as daily exercise. Utilize your notes app to keep track of shopping lists, or any other random thoughts that may come up throughout the course of your day.

The less energy we have to expend on all of these menial tasks, the more stress we eliminate from our lives and the more energy we have to focus on other more meaningful things.

5 Easy Ways To Live a More Organized Life in 2016

3. Write It Down

Just the physical act of writing something down helps me stay on track and keep my life organized. I constantly joke about my running to-do lists, but I can’t emphasize enough how simple of a tool a list is to keep it all together. Seeing something in print (whether electronically or on paper) makes it a more concrete and achievable goal and there is some true psychological benefit to seeing everything accomplished and crossed off at the end of a busy day.

My one major word of advice is to put your most important and difficult tasks at the very top of your list. It’s always most effective to attack your most challenging “to-do” first thing in the morning before your motivation is lost or derailed by other less significant issues that may crop-up — because they always do.

I’ve rounded up some of my favorite planners to help you keep it all straight! (Santa brought me the DAY DESIGNER this year — it’s large, but A.W.E.S.O.M.E.)

5 Easy Ways To Live a More Organized Life in 2016

4. Eliminate The Clutter

The clutter in this case is both mental AND physical. No matter how diligent we are about keeping things in order, we all end up with too much stuff. Set aside 30 minutes a day to focus on clearing out the clutter. The reason I like to limit the time is that it keeps us from focusing too much on emotional attachments and getting caught up in our sentiments. Simplified, it makes it much easier to dump sh*t without looking back.

Rather than attempt a whole house purge, start small, focus on a single room or area and get to work. The bedroom, bathroom and kitchen are probably the most important rooms as it’s where we start and end our day and are a good reflection of what’s going on in our head. If these rooms are a hot mess, chances are your head is too. A quick speed elimination will ease some of the clutter, help you feel empowered and get the ball rolling on other larger, more significant changes you’d like to make.

5 Easy Ways To Live a More Organized Life in 2016
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5. Simple Habits Can Take You Far

By creating simple and productive organizational habits for ourselves, it helps to keep us on track and ultimately saves time and mind-space for more important things.

Some super easy examples:

  • Put your keys in the same place each day/night — because who wants to turn a clean house upside down looking for keys when you’ve got sh*t to do!?
  • When you use a dish/cup immediately rinse and put in the dishwasher to prevent an overflowing sink.
  • Set a day/time for laundry so you’re never left with a mountain of dirty clothes and nothing to wear.
  • If it takes less than 2 minutes, do it NOW.

So, are YOU ready for 2016?!

What organizational tips or tricks do you rely on for a more productive day? Please share in the comments below!

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Odds & Ends

How To Clean Your Closet (And Make Some $$$ While You’re At It!)

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Ahhhh, spring…

Birds are chirping, bees are buzzing and women everywhere are cursing the spring-cleaning struggle, especially when it comes to learning how to clean your closet! As a stylist, the months of March-June are probably some of my busiest as clients are dreaming of crisp new wardrobes and a reclaimed sense of organization after the long winter months.

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There is really nothing better than a well-edited wardrobe and an organized closet when it comes to helping you get dressed each morning (this SPRING DRESS COLLECTION can help too)! It’s a game-changer. As part of my mission to leave women loving their style (and closets) again, I’ve come to adapt a 3-category system to make closet purging and organization a much easier task.

Remember these categories: keep, consign + donate.

Let’s start with the very basics. Pull everything out of your closet. There. Now you have a gigantic mess. I swear it always looks worse before it starts to look better. Pick up each item piece-by-piece and ask yourself:

1) Does it fit and flatter?

1a) If YES, proceed to #2.

1b) If NO, is it stain free, in good condition and still on-trend?

i) If YES, consign.

ii) If NO, donate.

2) Would I still be happy wearing this (fill in the blank) for the next 3-6 months?

2a) If YES, place back on hanger and insert in closet. (i.e. keep)

2b) If NO, see #1b.

Easy enough, right?

The whole process takes about 2 hours, but in the end you’ll be left with only the things that bring you joy and that make you look and feel great. You’ll also be left with 2 rather large piles of clothes to consign and/or donate.

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Don’t worry I’m not going to leave you here without a plan of action to get rid of those piles and potentially make a few extra bucks, too! If you aren’t familiar with consignment, it’s a great system to earn some cash back on those lightly worn, mint-condition clothes that you’re willing to part with. After years of doing these sort of closet clean outs, I’ve tried all forms of consignment shops both brick and mortar and online. I can say with confidence that none have been as easy or as rewarding (cash rules!) than thredUP.

Here’s HOW IT WORKS: You go to the thredUP website, you create an account and ORDER A BAG. Within a few days you get a plastic, postage-ready bag for you to fill with all of your consignment items. Drop the clothes in, seal up the bag and hand it over to your USPS office, local FedEx store or mail delivery person. Once received and processed, the consignment elves at thredUP will send you a notice with the proposed up-front value for your accepted items. Items that don’t make the thredUP cut can be donated, or returned to you (for a small fee).

The cash value gets credited into your thredUP account and you can choose to use the money to shop away on thredUP’s SITE, or wire the funds into a linked Pay Pal account to cash out.

Easy, peasy…

For the sake of 100% transparency and disclosure– nope, this is definitely not a sponsored post by any means! I just discovered thredUP, ORDERED MYSELF A BAG and was really happy with the process and end result so I wanted to share with you all. For the past few months I’ve been telling my styling clients about thredUP and I’ve only heard great feedback as well. Hey, what can I say?!  I’m passionate about products and services that I like!

So, let’s get down to business:

Who is going to be cleaning out their closet this week? More importantly, who is going to be giving thredUP a try? Please drop me a line if you do! I’d love to hear all about it!

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