5 Ways to Make Your 30s Flirty & Thriving

So I feel the need to preface this post by saying, that I really haven’t figured that much out just yet.  I simply know that I am loving being in my thirties and I thought I’d share some things I’ve learned thus far.  So without further ado, I give you…

5 Ways for Making Your 30s

1. Age Gracefully

And by that I mean don’t act your age. Just be yourself, whatever age that feels like.

Personally, I choose about 12.

Also, I’m pretty sure “gracefully” includes, flamingoes.

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2. Invest in Friendships

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Like the good kinds.  The friendships that let you be yourself, crazy and all.  Friendships that are not only fun but also challenging. Surround yourself with people you want to be like and that inspire you to be the best version of yourself.  Don’t hang out with people just because you want them to like you. Go for quality over quantity.

3. Stop waiting around. Go after your dreams.

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Remember all those days in High School when you would sit around, stare at the clouds and day-dream of all the amazing things you would do and see someday? Guess what?

Someday is NOW.

You’re never going to be 100% ready but at some point  you just need to go for it.  There’s no time like the present.

4. Adventure

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Don’t buy into the lie that your best years are behind you. NO WAY! There are so many new adventures out in front of you.  If you can’t see them then make them happen. Go on a trip. Take a class. Make a new friend. Learn a new dance (I recommend the dinosaur dance pictured above…it’s not for beginners though)

5. SPARKLE BABY SPARKLE

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Don’t be afraid to BE YOURSELF.  I’m sure you’ve heard the quotes a million times, but they’re true.  There’s no one else like you!

The world needs your unique sparkle.

Don’t waste time trying to be like anyone else.  Work hard to find out who you are and then don’t let go of that. You’ve got something special!

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All photos provided courtesy of Erica Baker Photography

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Randomness : Pt. 1

1. At least five people in the last month have told me that they like my haircut.  They’re so kind. The catch is…

I  HAVEN’T CUT MY HAIR IN LIKE 4 MONTHS.  

So either it’s all falling out (please NO!) or someone is cutting it in my sIeep. Awesome.

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Crazy eyes to underscore my point. (Photo Credit : Erica Baker)

2. I’ve been rocking out to the Elle King iTunes Radio station since last week.  Really ❤ it!

3. Can it not be winter anymore? I’ve over the cold.IMG_0531

(Photo Credit : ME)

4. Speaking of being over the cold, I have about 5 million pictures from my trip to Miami last week and I’ll blog them as soon as I figure out how to get them off my phone. What has two thumbs and is technically challenged? THIS GIRL.

5. I really like flamingos. I call this one Ferdinand.

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(Photo Credit : Erica Baker)

 

Happy Wednesday!

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IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING : 5 Steps to Turn Your “I Can’t” into “I Can”

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Ah the new year! So fresh with possibilities and newness. Is it just me or does the air smell different on January 1?  There’s so much possibility in each breath. It’s amazing how in one stroke of the clock I become convinced that I can leap small buildings in a single step and suddenly love leafy greens with a burning passion.  Somewhere in about that second week of January, however, that burning love affair with broccoli starts to wane. I don’t know about you, but right about now, I start getting hit with two little words.

I CAN’T

They barrage my subconscious until I’m pretty much ready to call it a day and curl up with my favorite blanket, a box of wine (swirly straw sold separately) and every Netflix marathon ever made. All my wonderfully laid plans start to unravel. I realize that I’m still me with all my hang ups, insecurities and inadequacies AND I’m still not a fan of broccoli.

It’s not a fun revelation. The temptation to crawl back under the covers and go back to la la land indefinitely is almost too much to bear. Here’s the thing though, even in the midst of my finest sulks, there’s this pesky little verse that I learned as a child that keeps coming back to me. Gah!

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” – Philippians 4:13 

Thanks to Mr. Donut Man I will never be able to forget this verse. Follow this link for a trip into my childhood. You’re welcome!

While there may be any number of things that you (and I) feel inadequate to tackle, the truth is you were never intended to face them on your own. The key in that verse is the “through Christ” part.  When you invite him into your life He actually takes you up on the offer.  He moves in and starts helping you tackle even the hardest obstacles.  Why you might ask? Because He’s God and He’s cool like that.

So in the midst of all my spectacular spirals over the years, God has shown me a few things that have helped change my can’t into a can.

Here’s 5 quick (please note I didn’t say EASY) steps:

1. Take a personal survey

Ask yourself, “What am I listening to?”.  Is the voice that tells you that you can’t louder than the voice that says you can? Are you spending more time thinking about the negative what ifs instead of the positive what ifs?  I’m not talking about living in a dream world, but I’m talking about facts.  It’s been proven that what you think about over and over effects what you become. In Hebrews 4, we have the example of Abraham who they say recognized (HE RECOGNIZED SON) that his body was as good as dead BUT (I like big BUTS and I cannot lie) He believed that HE who had promised is faithful. He believed that he would have a son at like bazillion years old. Spoiler alert: He got one!

So all I’m saying here is make sure you’re feeding the voice that says you can. Spend time with the one who put the dream in your heart to begin with. He’s got a plan to unfold it too.

Want to hear more about this point? Check out this great message, entitled ‘The Struggle is Real” from one of my pastors.

2. Set realistic goals

Awesome, so you’re telling me you already set AND broke all your New Year’s Resolutions.  Well done you! You’re not alone. Here’s a thought, how about you go set some more. I wrote a post about setting SMART goals last year and it still applies.  Make sure the goals you set are Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, Time-related.  Here’s the kicker though, DO IT ON A TUESDAY AFTERNOON. Don’t wait until the new year or even a Monday. Do it now!

3. Take Baby Steps

Recognize and celebrate the little wins. Baby steps are still steps. You don’t have to be perfect. In fact, there’s no way you will be. You were born human. You will die human. You are not perfect. The end.

4. Make Friends

This relates to point numero uno, surround yourself with people who say (and believe) that you can. Give those people air time. Your time is valuable. Don’t give people time who fill your space with negativity.  Even if they’re not telling you that you can’t, if all they do is talk negatively, I want you to take two simple steps. Step one: Slam the door. Step two: Yell “BYE FELICIA!” Done and done.

5. Take a break (DANCE PARTY!)

Lastly, give yourself a break.  Figuratively AND literally.  Close the laptop. Put away the checkbook.  Get off the elliptical. Take a break.  Preferably a DANCE PARTY break. Dust off your best dance moves and go to town. Whether you realize it or not, you are actually doing it. You’re pursuing that dream. You’re kicking those goals in the face, baby step by baby step.  That deserves to be celebrated.1527076_10102838762678684_1832303073579197706_n

Might I suggest this song? Miss Iggy and the God of the entire universe agree on this point…

IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING!

Bring it on 2015!
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2014 l A Year in Review

What a year. Phew! 2014 was quite a year here on the blog AND in real life.  According to WordPress, this little old blog had about 23,000 views in 2014. Say whaaaaat?!?!  I guess it’s safe to say that more than just my mom is reading this site now. Actually, if the good folks at WordPress aren’t playing a joke on me we’ve had readers from approximately 110 countries.  How cool is that??!? If you were one (or 1,000) of those views.

THANK YOU. GRACIAS. MERCI. DANKE. ANKTHAY OUYAY.

I thought I’d take a moment to remember a few of my favorite memories from the last year.

This year included whirlwind travel with one of my besties to one of my favorite cities, London.  Truly impactful trips to both the Hague and Bosnia – Herzegovina. I got my first (and most likely only…let’s be honest, it’s a lot of commitment) tattoo. I was in my first (and hopefully only) car accident and subsequently had my first ride in an ambulance. I discovered the music of Sam Smith and have had him on repeat ever since.

I finished my goal of blogging 5x a week for a year in June and detailed that wild ride with this post. I continued some favorite blog series, including StyleLove, #YouSparkle and Girl Talk and even started a few new ones including Doing the Work and Junk in the Trunk.  A few of my favorite posts from over the last year are the following…

The Unknown

Hope is Dangerous

The Power of One

War & Peace

Pursuing Wholeness

Why I Write

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Surprise! Life is happening now…

A big moment this year was the re-launching of the Piccadilly brand and website and the building of the coolest team around. On top of that we hosted our first Happy Hour and met some of the coolest people ever! We’ve spent a lot of time planning and are thrilled for what’s in store in 2015.

Thank you for coming along on this crazy ride with me.  Thanks for caring enough to stick around. My hope has always been that this site would be a place where you can daily come for encouragement and a good dose of sparkle.

Here’s to an AWESOME 2015!

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Shake it off!

Am I the only one who feels this way about 2014?

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I’m just going to say it… This past year was rough. Yes, there was a lot of good in the midst of all the hard, but it was still hard. There were some unpleasant surprises, things took longer, were more painful and just generally, sucked. I think I remember asking God at the beginning of the year to teach me more discipline. Why is it that He answered that prayer and yet, I still don’t live in a fairy princess castle (ahem…that’s on my prayer list too)? In the midst of it all though, I’ve realized something.  All that stretching has produced something…growth. I still have a long way to go but I’m not where I was this time last year because I submitted to the process. The discipline, the challenges, the ups and downs, were not for nothing. I can look back at this year and say that I’ve learned a lot through this process… dare I say, I’ve even learned a bit more discipline. (Let’s be honest, I still have a long way to go on that front though).

As I was thinking over this past year, the following verse came to mind….

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” – James 1: 2-4 (MSG)

That’s a legit promise that all the tough stuff has a purpose.  God’s not mean. Even when life gets tough, He is still good. It says in Romans 8:28 that he works ALL things together for our good.  That means that even when I don’t understand why, I can still trust that there is good coming. That even the unknown isn’t really unknown because He’s already in it working things out for my benefit. One of my favorite speakers and besties, Eileen,  shared this great message entitled “Shake It Off” this past weekend.

So instead of fixating on the things that could have gone better this year, I’m choosing to leave the pain, the frustration and the disappointment in 2014. There’s good on the horizon. I just know it.

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In the immortal words of T. Swifty

“Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake
Shake it off, Shake it off”

Bring it 2015!

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Photo Credit : Erica Baker Photography

GIF Credit : Janelle Fike

Dance Moves Credit : My Mom

 

Just Say NO! to Normal

Have you ever found yourself crying over a car commercial?

No?

Just me then.

I saw this ad recently and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind.  The line in particular that keeps resonating with me is…

“Normal can never be amazing”

It caused me stop and think.  There can be so much pressure to fit the cookie cutter definition of normal.  So much pressure to be something… do something… anything.  Daily pressure to fit in.  To please people.  To not cause a stir.

Honestly though, where is the fun in that?  I’ve decided that normal is highly overrated.

We were each designed to be amazing.  To be different.  Unique in our giftings, personalities, looks… and everything else in between.  It’s our differences that add spice to life.  They’re what make it interesting.  Why would you ever settle for something less than what you were created to be?  Why would I settle for being anything less?

Today, let go of your preconceived notion of what is normal, what you think you should be…. Be Yourself!

You are amazing!