Take it Easy on Labor Day!

Whether you work in the home or outside the home, do yourself a favor on this Labor Day weekend and take some time to relax.  Here's how:

LOOK at the latest issue of Harper's Bazaar!

That's right, the Fall Fashion Issue is on stands now and it is just packed full of fashion goodness.  If you want to freshen up your wardrobe for Fall, look no further for inspiration.  Don't miss it!

ALLOW yourself the time to sleep in!

The importance of sleep should never be dismissed!  We live in a world where everyone is on the go all the time, and so many of us are sleep deprived.  Use this weekend as a chance to catch some extra shut-eye.  You deserve it!

BUY yourself a present!

Maybe it's something small, like a milkshake.  Maybe it's something bigger, like that pair of Frye Boots you have been just dying to have.  Either way, give yourself a treat.  You work very hard and should give yourself a gift every once in a while.

ORDER a Stitch Fix for Fall!

Have you tried StitchFix yet?  I just had my first experience with Stitch Fix and it was super fun.  Do yourself a favor if you haven't already and go to their website, open an account, fill out your preferences, and schedule a fix.  It is that easy to have great clothes, personally styled for you and delivered right to your door.  Keep what you love and then send back the rest.  It is a great way to shop for those who, well, don't really have time to shop.  

READ about the history of Labor Day!

Have you forgotten some of the information you learned in your US history classes?  Well join the club!  On this Labor Day, take some time to remember why you have the day off.  At the height of the Industrial Revolution (late 1800s), typical Americans worked 12 hour days, 7 days per week to make a basic living.  Can you imagine?  Thank goodness times have changed and we have legislation that protects the American worker.  Labor Day now honors the contributions, achievements, and history of the American labor force.  Here is a great article that reviews the history of American labor.

Thanks for reading and for those of you in the Southeast who are bracing for the storm, stay safe.  Also, here is a link to a recipe for a Hurricane, the classic New Orleans rum drink, just in case you need it.

~Claire

From My Bookshelf: Girl Power!

I love to read and I am very old-fashioned about it. I like to have a physical book in my hand. None of this on-screen stuff for me!  I also tend to keep books.  Occasionally I will give some away, but there are some that I will just never part with.  As a result, I have a well-stocked book shelf!  

I am very inspired by independent, strong women, and I tend to buy books about them.  Today, I pulled a few recommendations from my bookshelf that are all about girl power!

Queen, Empress, Concubine by Claudia Gold

Queen, Empress, Concubine tells the story of 50 power full women throughout history, starting Hatshepsut, Queen of Egypt in 15th Century BC, and ending with Benazir Bhutto, the Prime Minister of Pakistan who was assassinated in 2007.  It sounds like a lot to sift through right?  It's actually not!  Author Claudia Gold dedicates only a few pages to each woman, describing the major events of their lives in an easy-to-read style.  

She also includes interesting details about each woman.  For instance, apparently the French owe their love of tobacco to Catherine de Medicis, Queen of France in the 1500s.  She took up the habit in 1560, and its use quickly spread throughout the court and the country.

If you are interested in history, or significant women throughout history, this is a super fun read!

The Gospel According to Coco Chanel by Karen Karbo

She is the epitome of elegance, sophistication, and good taste right?  Did you also know that Coco Chanel tended not to tell the truth?  She embellished just about everything from her poor and difficult childhood to create a new, more glamorous personal history.  You think of the Chanel brand as the finest of the fine right?  In the early 1920s, when wealth abounded and women draped themselves in fine jewelry, Coco Chanel decided that fake jewelry was more chic and designed a collection of costume jewelry dripping in obviously fake stones.  Women could not buy it fast enough!  Even though it was fake, it was timeless and elegant because it was Chanel.

If you ever wanted to read a story about a woman who truly designed a life that she wanted, this is it.  Her sense of invention was remarkable, not just in designs she created, but also the life she created for herself.  She trusted her instincts and opinions, and never apologized for either.  

The Gospel According to Coco Chanel is a quick read, but a good one.

Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project by Jack Mayer

Full disclosure, you might have to grab a box of tissues for this one, but trust me, it's worth it. Have you ever heard of Irena Sendler?  I hadn't until I came across this book.  Irena Sendler, was a Polish social worker who organized a network of fellow social workers to save 2,500 Jewish children from certain death in the Warsaw ghetto during World War II.   

The significance of Sendler's heroism has been largely unknown until recently.  Life in a Jar is the story of three high school girls from Kansas who came across mentions of Sendler's work, continued to research her story, and then created a historical play dedicated to telling her story. The project gained momentum and attention, helping garner Sendler the recognition that she deserved.

This is a truly inspiring story of courage, compassion, and love.  If you ever doubt that one person can change the world for the better, read this and remember that it's true. Put Life in a Jar at the top of your reading list!

Thanks for reading!

~Claire 

Motivated Mindset: You Have What it Takes!

I am an artist and entrepreneur.  I truly love being both, but being an artist definitely comes more naturally to me than entrepreneurship.  Being an entrepreneur takes me out of my comfort zone, and at times it can be scary and intimidating.  Despite that, I still have to put on my big girl pants every day, push through the insecurities I feel about entrepreneurship, and make good things happen in my business.

As much as I like to think that I am naturally motivated and confident every day of the week, that's just not reality.  Some days I need a little help to be brave, and remember that I do have what it takes to run my business.  There are two little tricks I use in my daily life to help me remember that I am fully capable of running a successful business:

1. I weave positive affirmations into the passwords I use on my computer!

Not a day goes by that I don't type in several passwords on my computer for various accounts.  I have a lot of fun creating complex passwords that remind me that I am dominating the business world.  

For example, if I'm feeling insecure about my sales skills, I would use a password that reminds me that I'm great at sales:

Gr8@Sal3s
 

Just remember to always keep your passwords secure by using upper/lower case letters, special characters, and numbers.  Never use a real word, common phrase, 1234 or password!  (I used to work for an IT firm, so I feel compelled to remind people that complex passwords are extremely important!)

 

2. I have a secret Pinterest board where I pin quotes and sayings that help build my confidence!

I love this!  I have a secret board on Pinterest that I call "Read this Every Day".  It is full of positive words that remind me that I have what it takes to do whatever I set out to do.  When I am nervous and need to feel confident, I pull up this board and read through all of the positive thoughts and sayings.

So if you have a big presentation at work, a parenting challenge, or a big decision to make, and need a little help feeling confident, use one of these tricks to remind yourself that you do have what it takes!

Thanks for reading!

~Claire

PS- If you want to follow me on Pinterest, click here.  

Brands that Give Back!

Summer is approaching and we are all looking for fun new treasures to add to our warm weather wardrobes!  This year when shopping for fun summer fashions, why not look to brands that not only make great products, but also give back?  Here are some of my favorites:

  Beek  sandals are 100% leather and are made to last.  They also have great arch support, which so many sandals lack.  With every pair of sandals puchased, Beek donates a meal to a child in need.

Beek sandals are 100% leather and are made to last.  They also have great arch support, which so many sandals lack.  With every pair of sandals puchased, Beek donates a meal to a child in need.

  Panda  sunglasses are handcrafted from the highest quality bamboo and polarized lenses. For every pair of sunglasses purchased, Panda provides and eye exam and pair of prescription glasses to someone in need.

Panda sunglasses are handcrafted from the highest quality bamboo and polarized lenses. For every pair of sunglasses purchased, Panda provides and eye exam and pair of prescription glasses to someone in need.

  Road 22  employs formally incarcerated women to make luxury basics like t-shirts and sweatshirts.  All of their products are made in the USA.

Road 22 employs formally incarcerated women to make luxury basics like t-shirts and sweatshirts.  All of their products are made in the USA.

 With every product purchased,  FEED  fights world hunger. Every product has a number stamped on it that signifies the amount of meals or micronutrient packets provided with its purchase. This bag provides 50 school meals for children around the world.

With every product purchased, FEED fights world hunger. Every product has a number stamped on it that signifies the amount of meals or micronutrient packets provided with its purchase. This bag provides 50 school meals for children around the world.

  Joan Hornig Jewelry  donates 100% of the profits on each piece of jewelry to the charity of the purchaser’s choice.

Joan Hornig Jewelry donates 100% of the profits on each piece of jewelry to the charity of the purchaser’s choice.

  WeWOOD  fashions wooden timepieces from mostly scrap-wood and plants one tree for every watch purchased.  Since 2011, WeWOOD has planted over 400,000 trees.

WeWOOD fashions wooden timepieces from mostly scrap-wood and plants one tree for every watch purchased.  Since 2011, WeWOOD has planted over 400,000 trees.

   Cooper & Ella  creates dresses and blouses that are memorable and flattering.  For every item purchased, they provide one hot nutritious meal to a child in need.

Cooper & Ella creates dresses and blouses that are memorable and flattering.  For every item purchased, they provide one hot nutritious meal to a child in need.

Thanks for reading!

~Claire