Casual Valentine

In our house we always try to make Valentine's Day about cherishing the love that exists in our family and with our friends, not just the romantic type. Even at my son's preschool today the teacher chose to celebrate family heritage and to bring something that they love from their family's heritage or culture; which I find to be very commendable. Hopefully we can move away from the notion that Valentine's Day needs to be big commercial production, or that you are obviously a lonely or unfortunate human being if you don't receive grandiose gestures.
Tomorrow we are actually celebrating a best friend's 30th birthday, so it will very much be a "GALentines" weekend; or maybe you could call it "Women and (90s) Songs". Either way, there will be lots of laughs and memories of friendship to be shared! Happy Friday!

| hat - Chapters Indigo | scarf - Stella and Dot | jacket - Joe Fresh | tunic - TopShop | denim - J Brand | clutch - Coach | heels - Aldo | sunglasses - Marc by Marc Jacobs | 


Weekend Wear: Black and Blush

Last week I talked about using January to set up my goals and action plans for the rest of the year, and how important it is to be honest with yourself about your motivations for each goal you set; otherwise known at the WHY of your plan. In my experience, if you can't answer WHY you want to do something succinctly and confidently, then maybe it needs a little bit more thought before moving forward. Sunday tends to be a great day for me to reflect on the week to come; but it could be any time you intentional set aside according to your schedule.

The other question I like to ask myself before I look at the HOW I am going to put this plan into motion, is the WHO. WHO are you accountable to and WHO does this affect when you decide to go for it? Is it just yourself (which is arguably the most important), but depending on the context of your goal it could anyone from your family, your coworkers, an aspect of your community. These people can either be your support system to achievement or obstacles in your pursuit if they don't support or share your endeavors. Knowing who you are accountable to and supported by can also serve as a way to recharge your motivation when your progress slows. Armed with the WHY and the WHO pieces of your goal puzzle, you can tackle the HOW to complete it; hopefully in a more informed and focused way.

It might be a fruitless tactic, but I have been wearing my lighter jackets lately in hopes that the weather will just follow my lead; so far it's been as successful getting out the house in under ten minutes with my 4 year old son...It is however, a favorite tactic of mine as well to pair items that are really feminine like this blush silk tanks with edgier pieces that you can move around in. Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

| hat - Wilfred FREE by Aritzia | silk tank - Talula by Aritzia | blazer - TopShop | jacket - Joe Fresh | denim - Anine Bing | boots - Sam Edelman | watch - Micheal Kors | sunglasses - Marc by Marc Jacobs |


Office Approved: 4 Concepts to Boost Productivity

As I pointed out last week it can be hard to find your footing in January in multiple life arenas; but I think it's important not to spend the early part of the year "waiting out Winter" but to use the time wisely. Hopefully the pale scale is on the upswing for me, ie I don't think that I can get any paler, but just in case it's not I have been choosing rich tones to offset the ghostly. Camel and navy is one of my favorite combinations and the dress pants with knits are great for work. I didn't realize it at first, however with the hat and the more classic cuts, this outfit really gives off 40's references.
This year I have promised up and down to be more mindful and intention driven in my life, so I was considering how I could easily apply this desire to day to day office life in order to increase productivity. Here are four simple concepts you can utilize quickly to easily keep your drive at work on high.

1. Prepare yourself.
Reality is that no matter how greatly prepared you are for your day, there is sh*t coming your way that you didn't predict. Read that last sentence again. If random events are guaranteed, then control what you can, and increase your confidence with the knowledge that you mastered the drum beat and whatever improvisation gets played on top of that you can handle. 

2. See the big picture. The flip side of the daily grind and craziness that comes through your work door, is that sometimes the days slide by and you can feel like all you are doing is quelling the storm instead of preparing or getting further ahead. In comes the necessity to see your "big picture". This might be something you set if you are self employed or you set with your employer and team from month to month, year to year. Know what those goals are and what your role is in these. Map them out how it makes the most sense to you to get from here to there. Check in with the goal vs. progress regularly and reassess.

3. Don't get lulled by the lulls. Sorry to say it, but the saying "only boring people are bored" I believe. There are going to be natural lulls in your job as in life, and if you can't inject your creativtiy into these periods or use these less busy periods to build, change, and grow in a less stressful environment, then maybe you need to learn to. Resist the temptation to check out when your day lags. Be the employee who is again seeing the big picture and taking the initiative to grow.

4. Give yourself a break. Before I sound like the Stalin of work focus, I would like to qualify that breaks are so very important. BUT, focus your break. We have these really brief moments in the clinic with our staff where we all remind each  other to do a quick set of stretching exercises. The whole cycle takes less than five minutes, but its amazing what standing up and doing this together with a smile does for our day. So get a glass of water, your fifth Americano today (thanks boss),  a banana, a stretch, a little dance to a song that's on, a high five a laugh about an inside joke. It's all important to contribute to your overall feeling of success from day to day.

| hat - Forever21 | sweater, coat - H&M | pants - Babaton by Aritzia | bag - Marc by Marc Jacobs | sunglasses - Missoni | boots - Sam Edelman |


Winter Blues

I'm a positive person; I really am. However, I will level with you: I am finding it increasingly difficult to maintain my enthusiasm about Winter. Even when we parade to the great outdoors with alarming enthusiasm (most likely fueled by caffiene) and rampantly partake in cold weather recreation opportunities like all good Canadians are expected to, there comes a point where I am over it, for lack of a more eloquent description. However, since we mostly can do nothing at all about the time frame in which Spring chooses to present itself, I will continue to push myself to get outside, and choose to spend this time quietly building momentum for the rest of the year by laying down the foundations for bigger goals I am working towards.

Much has been written in psychological literature about the relationship between motivation and behavior outcomes. It is not a simple relationship or curve, simply because I am not you, and you are not me. That is is to say, even if we have a similar goal, what is motivating me to succeed might look vastly different than your path. There are many different theories about how to illicit the greatest level of success in a person; maybe all of them have some merit to them because we are all so different. From my personal experience in athletics, I know what makes a great coach is the ability to read your athletes and recognize how they are motivated to bring out their best performance. I think in this sense, you can be your own coach when you really get honest with yourself about WHY you want to achieve something.

Having a goal and introspecting about WHY you want to achieve it can illuminate the steps that make up the HOW you are going to get there; or it might alert you to the fact that your goal isn't a worthy one or one fueled by genuine motivation. Either way, it's worth a conversation with yourself before you set about putting it into motion. I'm going to delve into the cycle of the WHY, the HOW, and the WHO later this week in a post as I get into my health goals I have set.

One of the things I wanted to do, which I touched on last week, was to buy less clothes and only what I really need. I cleaned out my closet right away and it created room to easily see what I have without being overwhelmed by garment chaos. It's left me with a great panel of quality basics like the ones in these photos. Let's go conquer Monday!

| hat - Wilfred FREE by Aritzia | scarf - Joe Fresh | denim shirt - Talula by Aritzia | denim - Anine Bing | coat - Pink Martini | boots - Sam Edelman | watch - Coach |


Back to Basics

My resolution for 2016, sartorially speaking is one that I have been working on for a few years. Since blogging and being active on various social media platforms, I realized that one of the downsides is that we are inundated daily with emerging products that we "need" to have, what everyone else seems to have, and what we do and do not possess. Speaking from experience, it can be terribly difficult to rid yourself of that FOMO feeling (fear of missing out, yet another acronym), but it's important to focus on what's the right fit for your life. Everything I am wearing here I have had for many years or acquired second hand, and it feels great to revisit my essentials without spending needlessly. Therefore, this year I continue to strive to keep a pared down closet of basics, shop consignment when I can, and invest in pieces that I will have for years to come. As the years go on in my life, I increasingly feel that style is a healthy combination of happiness, grace, and full confidence that who you are is going to be enough for the right people. That's a liberating feeling. Then there is the feeling that quite often 31 year old me would rather have adventures, artisan cheese, and a nice wine (but not merlot) than more clothes. Cheers to more doing this year!

| hat - Club Monaco | scarf - Coach | jacket - Joe Fresh| sweater - Wilfred FREE by Aritzia | pants - J Brand | boots - Sam Edelman |