Spring 2011 Nail Polish Collections Review: Slideshow

After a brief hiatus last week (more to come on that tomorrow), I thought it would be fun to review all of the Spring 2011 Nail Polish Collections. For me, summer begins on Memorial Day weekend and I can hardly wait to start wearing all of the bright shades for summer. I will be doing a slideshow of the Summer 2011 Nail Polish Collections right before the holiday…so stay tuned.

In the mean time, stay “present” and enjoy our last two weeks of spring by celebrating with all of the beautiful shades that spring brought us this year…

[portfolio_slideshow]

WINNER: Best YELLOW Nail Polish is…

I’ve been on the fence about whether to embrace the yellow nail polish trend or not (see yellow trend watch here).  I tried dozens of yellow nail polish shades, with the majority ending up in comments from my friends of “Eew, looks like you smeared mustard on your fingernails.”  Or “Yuck, you look like you have jaundice.”  To just plain laughs.

I FINALLY found one that is soft, pretty, flattering, fun and cheap ($6).  When experimenting with trends it’s always wise to go with the cheapest option.  Save your money to invest in the classics that will last!

So, the winner, and Nail Polish Color of the Week is… (if you can’t see image below, click here.)

Color Name: “Butter”

By: American Apparel

Nail Polish Wardrobe Category: Trend

Color Description: Very light soft butter yellow.

{Beautiful outside} this week:

There are dozens of shades of yellow nail polish out right now.  Unless you have very dark skin, stick to lightest softest shades of yellow.  “Butter” is the most universally flattering, and looks amazing on dark skin.  Bright sunny yellow looks very unflattering on light skin tones.

As for neon yellow, it won’t work for me or my personal style.  If you feel like it is reflective of your style, at least wait until summer when it looks a little more appropriate.

I love “Butter” by American Apparel because everything about it says spring.  It’s fresh, light, and new.  I think it is a sophisticated way to indulge in the yellow nail polish trend.

I hope you feel just as {BEAUTIFUL outside.} wearing it this week as we all make an effort to CELEBRATE TODAY!

YELLOW NAIL POLISH TREND: LOVE it or LEAVE it?

I found this image on Pinterest (my newest habit), and thought, HOW TRUE!  (If you cant see image, click here)

Buying something just because it’s a trend does not elevate your personal style.

Developing your own style is about choosing only those trends that:

  • Flatter you. Nothing is worse than wearing a trend for trends sake if it doesn’t make you look more beautiful.
  • Reflect the image you want to create for yourself.

If the trend doesn’t do both of these things, then pass and go with a classic instead.

Which brings me to the subject of the yellow nail polish trend that has been coming and going for the past few years.  It’s back for spring/summer 2011, in a big way. When Chanel goes with it (Mimosa from the Summer 2011 Chanel collection- click to view), I take notice.

Yellow nail polish is very hard to pull off. It is fun and edgy, but doesn’t flatter all skin tones.  Here are the celebrities that took a chance on the trend.

Anna Lynn McCord in sunny yellow nail polish on fingers and toes...
Anna Lynn McCord in neon yellow nail polish
Beyonce looking really sophisticated in yellow nail polish...not easy to do!

Katy Perry in bright yellow...
Natalie Portman...does anything NOT look great on her?
Rihanna in butter yellow with black nail designs...

What do you think?  Does it work for you? Loving it or leaving it?

{BEAUTIFUL inside.} this week: CELEBRATE TODAY.

FINALLY this morning…the sun is out!  (if you cannot see the image, click here.)

The first thing that I did upon waking was take my newly rehabbed IPod from last week’s challenge to have MORE MUSIC, and I jogged to the lake.

Once you start getting “present” and listening to what the universe is trying to tell you, it’s messages are fascinating.

As I am jogging along, randomly the theme song from “One Day at a Time” (the show from the 70′s with Valerie Bertinelli) came on and I laughed out loud.  My sister and I use to LOVE that show and would always dance around to the theme song.  Somehow, once again, the universe reconnected us, and for 47 seconds I was tempted to bop around at the stop light.  Instead I listened to the words…

This is it
This is life…the one you get
So go and have a ball

This is it
Straight ahead and rest assured
You can’t be sure at all

So while you’re here enjoy the view
Keep on doing you do
So hold on tight we’ll muddle through
One day at a time…

So up on your feet
Somewhere there’s music playing
Don’t you worry none
We’ll just take it like it comes

One day at a time…

Seriously? Who knew there was so much wisdom in a 70′s TV jingle.   I, like everyone else, spend a lot of time/energy worrying about a lot of things that never even come to be.  I decided then and there that for at least this week, I will make a concious effort to “take it as it comes, one day at a time”, and not worry my way into tomorrow.

So this week, being {Beautiful inside.} is all about: CELEBRATING TODAY.  I am going to find one little way each day to appreciate this day and not worry my way through.  I will make every effort to take each day as it comes.

I hope you will join me…oh, and clearly yellow is an inspiration for me this week.  Stay tuned tomorrow for the Nail Polish Color of the Week!

(image is from an unknown source)

KATE MIDDLETON’S ROYAL WEDDING NAIL POLISH…A CLASSIC CHOICE

The Daily Mail is reporting this morning that Kate Middleton chose Essie’s Allure nail polish ( a soft ivory) with a layer of Bourjois  T28 Rose Lounge ( a soft pink)  to perfectly match her skin tone for a classic, timeless bridal manicure.  (if you cant see images below, click here)

Kate Middleton's Royal Wedding Manicure- Essie's Allure layered with Bourjois 28 Rose Lounge

I wonder what she wore on her toes?  Perhaps she chose her “something blue” like this week’s Nail Polish of the Week !?

Love and light to William and Kate on this special day…

 

 

Image credits-

nail polish: appleloves.livejournal.com, essie.com, superdrug.com,

wedding photo:  Dominic Lipinski – WPA Pool/Getty Images

WINNER: BEST BLUE NAIL POLISH FOR SPRING 2011 – LAPIS OF LUXURY by ESSIE

I’ve spent the past month searching high and low to find the perfect shade of blue nail polish for spring 2011.  I am sure I found it.  The winner, and Nail Polish Color of the Week is… (if you can’t see image below, click here.)

Color Name: “Lapis of Luxury”

By: Essie

Nail Polish Wardrobe Category: Trend

Color Description: Cornflower blue, with a touch of periwinkle…so flattering, so right.

{Beautiful outside} this week:

Feeling {Beautiful inside} this week is all about shaking things up and getting MORE MUSIC into your life.  Wearing “Lapis of Luxury” while working away on your IPod just makes the whole experience that much more fun.

Blue nail polish is HOT for spring and summer.   I did a post about a month ago showing the celebrities that have also embraced the blue nail polish trend also (see it here).    As the weather heats up I will be searching for a great summer version that is probably brighter or lighter, but for spring, there is no better blue shade on the market.

“Lapis of Luxury” has a real “east coast” almost preppy-ness to it. It is almost exactly the color of the trench coat in the inspiration board for this week, which I am also in love with…the whole look.  It just feels like spring to me and I am loving it on my hands and feet right now.  I am not the only one.  I wore it out to an event last night and was asked about it constantly.  Usually with a dramatic gasp of “OH, I LOVE that color, what is it?”

I hope you feel just as {BEAUTIFUL outside.} wearing it this week!

{BEAUTIFUL inside.} This week: MORE MUSIC.

What could be more inspiring this week than spring blues and yellows?   Mixed with classic navy and beige, it looks so fresh and beautiful.  (if you cannot see the image, click here.)

Speaking of blues…spring is taking it’s time showing up around here, and I am using my extra time indoors this week to spring clean my ITunes music collection.  I believe there is nothing that can stir the soul quite like music. Even a rainy gray day can become something joyful with the right soundtrack.

The plan is to spend more time each night with ITunes.  Making new play lists for spring workouts, work time, cleaning, and any tasks that have become mundane and need an inspirational infusion.

I am totally inspired by this week’s Nail Polish Color of the Week (announced tomorrow).  Can you guess which color in the palette it is?  I searched long and hard to find the right shade, and I’m sure I’ve got it because I cannot stop smiling at my new manicure.  It will be an added bonus as I admire it while working with my Ipod all week.

 

(image is from an unknown source)

SUPERMODEL’S FAVORITE SPRING 2011 NAIL POLISH COLORS…

I LOVE seeing what the style influencers are choosing as their favorite spring nail polish colors.  Supermodels are exposed to the highest fashion every season, so their opinions always intrigue me.  I love the trends, but was happy to see that classic red nail polish made the list too!  Click here or image below to see all of the favorites from Vogue…

classic red is my favorite this week too...click image to see all of the favorites!

 

CLASSIC STYLE and RED NAIL POLISH…it always works.

Everyone gets so frenzied about the hottest trends each season, but having a great personal style is all about finding the perfect balance between classic AND trend.  There is nothing as classic, timeless and sophisticated as pure red nail polish.  It is always your best, and cheapest fashion accessory.

These are the images that inspire with classic style and classic red nail polish…  (if you can’t see images, click here)

Parisian red...a classic look from Vogue
Black with leopard and red...always a perfect classic combination
from thesartorialist.blogspot.com- navy, red and gold fabulousness
beige, black and red nail polish...love it from mariannann.blogspot.com
gray, navy, ivory and red...I am in love! from thesartorialist.blogspot.com

{BEAUTIFUL inside.} This week: LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE.

Normally I choose an inspiring image related to fashion or design for the weekly inspiration board and color palette…but this week I am doing something a little bit different.  I am using my own space as inspiration and I hope to inspire you to LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE, too.  This is a photo of my condo (more here), and the actual color palette I used when designing it. (If you can’t see the image, click here)

How much time do we spend thinking about our dream homes?  Or watching the Real Housewives of wherever, and believing that life would be better if/when we had all that.  (Notice that most of them don’t seem very happy either!)

I spent my 20’s not only dreaming of “more” but literally working myself to death to achieve the home and career that I thought I wanted.  Once I achieved it, it was all wrong and empty…for a few different reasons.  So I got a divorce and became a minimalist.

Moving from a 5 bedroom home to a studio condo was one of the best things I’ve ever done.  I didn’t want one extra inch of responsibility.  I wanted to be free to live my life.  Free from financial burdens, time burdens, physical stuff, all of it.

I learned…finally… to be present and happy.  Right here, right now.  I don’t waste beautiful moments dreaming about how great life will be when this or that happens.  I look around and see how great it is right now.

This week I hope to inspire you to… LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE, too.  Need ideas?

  • Complete a small decorating project (don’t overwhelm yourself, just one improvement this week)
  • Challenge yourself to take time to look around and appreciate what you have, write it down.
  • Shift your thinking away from always wishing for the future, to appreciating the present.
  • Explore something new in your neighborhood

I will be working my balcony (if it ever stops raining here in Chicago!), and posting new photos at the end of the week.

One quick question….would you also be so kind as to “LOVE WHERE I LIVE” too?  I entered my current condo in a contest on Apartment Therapy.com called “Small Cool 2011” which is a design competition for small spaces.  My motivation to do it is to share the message that you can be really happy with less stuff.  And that downsizing can be a beautiful thing! If you like it, would you vote for it here by clicking “favorite”?

Life is good…I hope you find the same kind of happiness, right here, right now in your space this week. And thank you in advance for showing me some love in the contest!

Oh, and of course tomorrow’s Nail Polish Color of the Week is going to look fabulous hanging out in this space too…

 

A SPRING CLEANING FOR YOUR FACEBOOK…

The challenge to be {BEAUTIFUL inside} this week was to MAKE A FRESH START.

For me, that meant decluttering my Facebook account.  It’s a fascinating, powerful tool connecting people and ideas…in both good and bad ways.  The problem I had with Facebook was not with the tool itself, it was with the negative energy and nonsense I was digesting from “friends” in exchange for the attention I was giving reading status updates.  95% of these “friends” being just people I have crossed paths with and random acquaintances that I have no relationship with.

It all changed as I was sitting in bed one night reading one of the greatest books ever written.  Something on my phone diverted my attention and 10 minutes later I am still flipping through the status updates of these 600 or so “friends”.  I stopped when I came across this status update from some guy I barely know from high school…

Seriously?! AND 6 other “friends” actually “like” hearing this?  I gagged, and pulled the little Facebook icon straight into the trash can. The contrast of the influences competing for my attention was crystal clear, both sitting right there in my lap.  I had diverted my attention from  a truly remarkable person’s insights and given it to someone so completely unremarkable with nothing worthwhile to say.  Then and there, I changed.

Instead of trying to block it all by abandoning Facebook altogether, un-friending or hiding 95% of friends in my personal profile, etc…I decided to harness its power to bring me great influences and good energy instead.  This is how I did it:

1.      Make a new private Facebook profile just for your soul.

Give it a new name, and profile photo of an object you love.  Keep it private, just for yourself.  Friend and “like” only those people and businesses that inspire you.  Remember your list of people that have a positive influence on you and your interests that you made last month?  Go and “friend” and “like” those people’s pages only.  If this blog as a positive impact on you, “like” it here.

Keep your regular Facebook page; just don’t spend much energy there. When you do, just look for the people you truly care about.

2. Take the Facebook app off of your smartphone and replace it with a TED talks app.

In that moment when I trashed the Facebook app, I felt instantly lighter.  Replace it with a free TED app.  If you are not familiar with TED, learn about it here.  It is a fantastic place to find inspiration and motivation.  Now when I have a little time to kill while waiting for an appointment, etc… I watch a short TED talk instead.

The best way to break an old habit is to replace it with a new better one.  Start to think critically about where you are giving your attention, and what you are receiving in return for it.  Declutter anything that is depleting you and replace it with something that fills you up.  Simple as that!

Spring cleaning isn’t just about material “stuff”; it is about the quality of the energy around us too.  This one simple FRESH START this week has changed the course of my year.  I hope it has done the same for you.

Spring/Summer 2011 Nail Polish Trends: The round-up of designer fashion ads…

No question, nail polish is the best (and least expensive!) fashion accessory. The fashion designers agree and here are the major nail polish trends used in designer ad campaigns for spring and summer 2011…

Orange/melon nails are hot at Christian Dior this season...
Fendi is all about mint/light blue nail polish for spring and summer...
Gucci paired the bright seasonal colors and neutrals with a classic red nail polish...
D&G chose a feminine classic red on the toes and pale pink on the hands...
YSL is all about contrast and drama with the dark vampy nail polish...
Burberry went with a very sheer/pale peach pink. Looks just like the Nail Polish Color of the Week, Peche Nacree from Chanel!
Dark, dramatic and classic nail polish choice at Lanvin...
DKNY chose very pale pink nails against a pop of the season's hottest color!
Chanel chose a metallic dark (undoubtedly their Black Pearl) in their accessory ads...
And then they chose a very pale nude nail in their fashion ad...

Moschino went with classic red nail polish...
And from Kate Spade, bright red-orange nail polish paired with brights and neutrals...

Which ad/nail polish trend do you find most inspiring for spring 2011?

JCrew pink nail polish ad controversy: the LESSON in 4 little words

Wouldn’t life be beautiful if we could just… STOP JUDGING EACH OTHER?

The world will be better when we stop looking down on each other, taking sides, and arguing our beliefs.  Instead, why not celebrate the fact that we are free to make our own choices, and joyfully accept that others get to make their own choices too?

Peace, love and pink nail polish…

NAIL POLISH COLOR OF THE WEEK: Chanel Peche Nacree

{Beautiful outside.} this week with Chanel Peche Nacree…  (If you cannot see the photo below- click here)


Color Name: “Peche Nacree” ( I am assuming this translates to peach pearl in English)

By: Chanel

Nail Polish Wardrobe Category: Both…soft enough to be a classic, peach enough to be a trend.

Color Description: Light peach/pink with pearl shimmer.

{Beautiful outside} this week:

This week is all about MAKING A FRESH START, and nothing says that on the outside quite like Chanel’s Peche Nacree.  This nail polish is just so beautiful, so feminine, and so…spring.  It is part of the Chanel Spring 2011 collection.

What I love about this shade is that it feels so “of the moment”, and I haven’t seen it on everyone and their mother.   It flatters all skin tones and looks stunning with a tan (spray tan works too!). It can be worn anywhere, and all the way through until Fall.

Orange and melon nail polishes will be very hot this summer, but it is still way too early for something that bright.  Wearing this shade is adopting the trend early in a sophisticated and appropriate way.

Enjoy…I hope you feel {BEAUTIFUL outside} this week too!

{BEAUTIFUL inside.} This week: MAKE A FRESH START

After the exhilaration of trying something new,  I am inspired this week to…MAKE A FRESH START.  By simplifying this week, we will create space for new experiences and possibilities.  With that “spring cleaning” feeling in the air, now is the perfect time.   (If you can’t see full image below, click here)

I am inspired this week by Elie Saab’s Spring 2011 campaign.  The airiness of the photo, combined with the unexpected color, pattern and texture is so fresh…so spring. The Nail Polish Color of the Week fits perfectly in this palette, and I will announce it tomorrow.

Clutter is suffocating.  It takes time, energy, and money, and doesn’t give much back. I’ve been de-cluttering, downsizing, simplifying for 2 years now.  I didn’t do it in one drastic major “makeover”.   I did it small baby steps with weekly “microvers” (micro-makeovers).  Why? Because it takes time to build new habits.

This week I will be sharing photos of where I live now and the process I have gone through to get there.  (Subscribe to blog here)  As well as sharing resources that can help no matter where you are on the simplifying curve.

As you think about what corner of your life you want to MAKE A FRESH START this week, remember, “With every possession comes responsibility”.  You have to give it your time and money to acquire it.  You give your energy to store it, to clean it, and to move it.  And in the end it might actually preventing you from getting what you really want.  If it’s not exceptionally beautiful or useful to you, then it is time to consider how your life will improve without it.  This applies to possessions, as well as our time.

If you need help picking the best corner of your life to get started in this week, ask yourself the following:

  • What is causing you the most frustration each week to deal with?
  • What can you do without?
  • What will you gain, by giving this up?
  • What do you intend to do with the time and energy you will save by de-cluttering and making a fresh start?

Then…just get started.  On only that one little area. Give yourself a victory this week…

I will be de-cluttering my “online life”, and sharing the results at the end of the week.  I can’t wait to hear what you chose to simplify too.

GIVE IT A SHOT…ENJOY THE JOURNEY.

“Nobody cares if you can’t dance well.  Just get up and dance. Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion. ” - Martha Graham, American Choreographer

Somewhere along the line, we’ve stopped being so eager to get up and TRY SOMETHING NEW.  We started to fear that others would judge us.  We judge ourselves if we don’t perform perfectly.

This became clear recently in a lesson from my brilliant photography professor (Richard Stromberg).  As I was rapidly firing off everything that I did wrong in my assignment.  He gently stopped me and said something to the effect of, “Oh, wait, you aren’t perfect?  Good, because I thought you were taking this class to learn.  You have to make mistakes before you can learn from them.”   Talk about an AHA moment, and I thought I was just there to learn to take a good photo!

After 20 years of traditional education, where your work is constantly judged and there was no room for experimentation and error, it’s no wonder we walk away fearful!  Finally…I could just learn.  I wasn’t there to earn a grade or get to the next level.  I felt free.

I just had to stop judging myself first.  I started to put things in perspective with a new dialog in my brain.  When I decided to sing a duet with a stranger at a karaoke bar on my birthday (zero talent there)…I told myself , “So what!  It’s not like I’m trying to get a recording contract!”  When I started tennis lessons, “So what!  It’s not like I’m trying to make it to Wimbledon.” By removing the perfection pressure from myself, I created space to experience, and to finally enjoy the journey.

I put this to the test this week at my first adult gymnastics class- my TRY SOMETHING NEW THIS WEEK.  I was seriously scared!  Sure, I quit tumbling in the 6th grade, and this class was all ex-college gymnasts.  Sure, their warm up almost knocked me out. Sure, I’m still so sore, I’m having trouble typing this.  But by going, I was reminded that we judge ourselves FAR more than anyone else ever does when all of these incredible gymnasts made an effort to support my efforts just to try. It didn’t matter how “good I was”, I was having fun and getting better.  As they literally flipped in the air across the mat, I stuck to my happy little cartwheel with a smile and a shrug and thought “So what!  It’s not like I’m trying out for the Olympics.”  And I enjoyed every moment.

What I learned by TRYING SOMETHING NEW THIS WEEK:

Stop judging yourself – no one else is.

You can’t grow under pressure…lighten up.

You have  to make mistakes before you can learn from them.

Put things in perspective- tell it like it is.

Give it a shot- enjoy the journey.

NUDE-NEUTRAL NAIL POLISH TREND: Spring 2011

Nude nail polish is really hot right now.  I hesitate to even call this a trend because it is so classic and can be worn year round.  It has some serious staying power and is worth investing in a great neutral or nude nail polish.  This is a MUST HAVE in your nail polish wardrobe.  I chose Butter London’s Yummy Mummy this week as my choice for the best neutral nail polish.

These are the celebrities and style influencers that I feel, got this look sooo right!

 

Demi Moore...she is just so elegant, and so is this nail polish on her!
Demi Moore, again, she always gets it so right!
Jamie Chung- the perfect combination of wearing a bright trend color (yellow) and mixing it with a neutral classic nail polish. Beautiful! Photo by PacificCoastNews.com from www.stylebistro.com
Malin Akerman- another perfect combination of trend clothing with classic nail polish! From: www.instyle.com

I hope you are feeling inspired to TRY SOMETHING NEW, and mix things up a little bit this week too!

 

 

How to FEEL like a Supermodel…beautiful on the inside.

I found this fun article on InStyle.com called “10 Ways to Live Like a Supermodel”.  I absolutely love tips, tricks and new ideas to live a little better.  (If you can’t see the image below- click here)

As I read through the article, I felt pretty good about my habits…I give myself a solid B+. Progress not perfection! (Click image above to go to article)  But it’s not just about taking care of the outside,the external physical package, it’s about feeling really beautiful and happy inside.  Once you’ve mastered that part, the extra little wrinkle or 5lbs doesn’t matter as much as it did before.  Everyone talks about how to look beautiful outside, but how do you FEEL beautiful inside?

This is the formula that I live by.  If I am true to these 10 principles, then I am guaranteed to feel beautiful inside too.  And I wish that for all of you, everyday, in everyway.

The Polished Life Manifesto:

Compassion not judgment.

Progress not perfection.

Hope not fear.

Passion not passive.

Quality not quantity.

Gratitude not envy.

Color not conformity.

Create not consume.

Quiet not chaos.

Today not tomorrow.

 

 

NAIL POLISH COLOR OF THE WEEK: Butter London “Yummy Mummy”

{Beautiful outside.} this week with Butter London’s Yummy Mummy…  (If you cannot see the photo below- click here)

Color Name: “Yummy Mummy”

By: Butter London

Nail Polish Wardrobe Category: Classic-neutral

Color Description: Light beige with a very subtle shimmer

{Beautiful outside} this week:

Obviously, from my inspiration board yesterday, I am feeling inspired by spring’s soft neutrals:  beiges, grays, pinks and peaches.  From Chanel’s Spring Collection down to street fashion, I am seeing this lovely combination everywhere.  And there isn’t a more perfect nude nail polish to go with this look than “Yummy Mummy”.

What I love most about “Yummy Mummy” is a very subtle, almost undetectable shimmer that gives it a dimension that you don’t see in other “flat” nude polishes.  It is different and very special.  This color is really flattering on every skin tone.

I chose “Yummy Mummy” this week because it is the definition of a “blank canvas” nail polish…full of possibility to pair it with anything from the softest neutrals to the brightest brights from your clothing wardrobe.  It is the perfect opportunity to try something new and mix things up.

{Beautiful inside} this week:

I am thinking about my life’s “blank canvas” and how I intend to TRY SOMETHING NEW this week and explore new possibilities.  I have made very little progress recently with exercise.  I am feeling much weaker and less flexible than I ever have.  Therefore, I am going to Adult Gymnastics class tonight.  Yes, you read that right.  I quit gymnastics in the 6th grade, so this should be interesting!  More to come later in the week on the outcome.  Wish me luck..I’m scared!

I can’t wait to hear about what possibilities opened up for you when you TRIED SOMETHING NEW this week too…

BEAUTIFUL INSIDE… Try something new.

Coming out of the peaceful stillness of last week, I feel a little lighter.   Obviously I am totally inspired this week by the Chanel 2011 Spring Runway Collection.  The colors are so subtle and soft, so peaceful. (click here for full post if you can’t see image)

We are all a blank canvas.  A work in progress.  It is our CHOICES that determine how we “paint our canvas”.

This weekend as I left a floral arranging class I got a call from my best friend.  As we chatted about what we were doing, she seemed a little disappointed in the difference in our answers, when hers was “shopping for onesies.”

Although we create our ruts, we also break ourselves out of them.  It is up to each of us to keep pushing our boundaries and expanding our horizons.  To “paint our canvas” with the things we love, not the monotony of daily living.

One of my favorite quotes….“If you really want to do something, you will find a way.  If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” – Jim Rohn.

No excuses, just make a choice to:  TRY SOMETHING NEW THIS WEEK.  Just one little thing.  Need ideas?

  • Make a new recipe. (my recent favorite – here)
  • Visit a boutique, restaurant, public space that you’ve been wanting to experience.
  • Subscribe to a new blog ( and this one is a great choice!)
  • Take a new route home and see streets you’ve never seen before.
  • Take a class based on your passions you discovered a few weeks ago (more here)
  • Try a new nail polish color.  The Nail Polish Color of the Week for this week is announced tomorrow!

Its spring…things are waking up and coming alive, choose to feel beautiful inside by doing the same this week.  Let me know what you did!

COLOR PALETTE of the week…

One of my favorite blogs is called Design Seeds (design-seeds.com).  You may remember that I have a passion for all things design: interior, fashion…life, and the color palettes she creates everyday, make my heart sing.  This one embodies our week of  lightening up with Essie’s “Main Squeeze”, in an unexpected and beautiful way, and I wanted to share it with you.

DEVELOP YOUR PERSONAL STYLE: THE POLISHED LIFE METHOD

“A girl should be two things, classy and fabulous.”- Coco Chanel.  (If you can’t see image, click here)

Developing your own personal style is one of the coolest aspects of living a Polished Life.

First, get a really clear picture in your mind of who you WANT to be.  Perhaps you will think about it during this week’s JUST ONE LITTLE THING, as you unplug for a moment.  I wrote down my answers using the method I discussed in last Friday (more here).

Next, identify those people with great style that inspire you and fit with your own vision. Study them in magazines, read their books and blogs, etc..

Finally, consider both classic and trend looks.   Don’t assume that just because something is a trend that it is flattering.   The biggest mistake you can make is to wear a trend just because it’s new and different, if it is not doing you any favors.  Create your own guide based on your inspirations, goals and finances.

Here my personal guide, I encourage you to create your own:

Hair: Classic, always NO exceptions.

I admire all the classic timeless beauties and none of them have “trendy hair”.  They all have hair that has looked amazing for 30 years (Goldie Hawn).  On me, trendy hair styles looked dated and silly almost instantly.  If I feel like I need a change… I go subtle or change something that isn’t a 6 month to2 year commitment, like nail polish!

Clothing Basics: Classics.

Quality not quantity.  I don’t want 8 pairs of marginal black pants.  I want one killer pair.  I am willing to invest in the best for timeless wardrobe staples.  The BEST book for identifying these pieces is “The One Hundred” by Nina Garcia…one of my favorite books and style authorities.

Accessories: Trend.

This is where you can have a little fun and mix your investment basics with H&M finds.  Have fun, experiment.  Depending on the price tag, it’s not a huge commitment.

Shoes: Both.

Get your basic shoes in the best you can afford. This is an investment that pays back daily.  Mix in trend pieces where it makes sense.

Make-Up: Classic, with trend used very sparingly.

The trend colors may change drastically each year but your skin and eye color and face shape are the same.  Find what looks amazing on you and stick with it.  My best friend has her makeup redone each year by a professional and she always looks classic and polished.  Mix in a trend lip gloss or blush and it pulls everything together perfectly.

Nail Polish: Both.

Nail Polish is the perfect way to experiment with trends because it is low cost and low commitment.  The key is to choose trends that are flattering, fit your personal style, and wear them at the right time of year.  This is obviously the most fun and the idea behind the “Nail Polish Color of the Week”.

Once you have spent some time exploring and developing your personal style, it gives you freedom in a few ways.

First, it gives you more time to explore and develop yourself in other ways instead of making shopping your hobby.  Shopping (consuming) is NOT a hobby.  “Exploring”, good… just “consuming”, not good.

Second, having a clear sense of your personal style gives you more freedom financially.  You end up with just the things you adore and a cool way to reward yourself, rather than a closet full of things you don’t care about that cause you anxiety, and that is freedom.

I hope you have as much fun developing your own personal style, as I have had!

CREATE A MANICURE RITUAL: ONE HOUR WILL CHANGE YOUR WEEK.

Don’t have an hour for yourself?  Yes, you do.  We never HAVE time, we MAKE time for the important things.  You are important.  Stop putting yourself at the bottom of the list.  You aren’t doing anyone any favors by not taking great care of yourself- inside and outside.  (Click here to go to full post if you cannot view image below.)

One hour per week of peaceful stillness, it’s all it takes.   Create your moment:

1.       Unplug. No TV, internet (especially while waiting for nails to dry!) or interruptions.

2.       One exception: turn on music, if it makes your heart sing.

3.       Light a candle.

4.       Make a drink: tea, wine, scotch (ha.), whatever you desire.

5.       Polish your fingers and toes. Pick a seasonally appropriate color (see Nail Polish Color of the Week for guidance). Don’t worry too much about technique at this point- more to come on that soon

6.       Be still. Be present. Let yourself slip underneath the chaos of everyday life…just for an hour.

7.       Ask yourself questions, listen to the answers. Perhaps it is this week’s JUST ONE LITTLE THING or something else that needs improving.

One hour per week can change the course of your entire week and set you on a new path.

As you glance at your gorgeous nails all week, thank yourself for the moment.

 

Try it.  It only works if you DO it, and if you do it in this outlined method.  Let me know how it worked for you!

NAIL POLISH COLOR OF THE WEEK: ESSIE “MAIN SQUEEZE”

And the Nail Polish Color of the Week is….. (if you can’t see this image, click here for full post)

Color Name: “Main Squeeze”

By: Essie

Nail Polish Wardrobe Category: Hmm- tough call.  Classic or Trend- what do you think?

Color Description: Light lavender, white, gray-silverish

Why it works right now:

I literally just left Club Monaco and a stylist ran over to me to ask me what this fabulous nail color was. Without having any clue what I do, she said “this is the best seasonal color for right now!” Then we waltzed around the store admiring the way it compliments everything in their gorgeous new spring collection. Enough said.

This is the perfect precursor to the brighter lilacs that are coming for late spring summer. For now, this looks like a hint of color (lavender) coming through the snow (white, gray, silver tone). I haven’t seen anything like it. And I adore it for this week as I am focusing on moving from darkness to light.

Nail polish and my soul this week:
I spent the hour giving myself a manicure and pedicure to totally unplug for this week’s JUST ONE LITTLE THING. I have to say I enjoyed every minute of getting disconnected. As I lightened up my nail polish and quieted the noise around me, I felt a little more free. I will be writing more soon about this “manicure ritual” and how to make it habit to take care of yourself on the outside and the inside.

I can’t wait to hear about how you decided to explore this week’s JUST ONE LITTLE THING…let me know!

MOVING FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT…

The flowers are just starting to push through their winter slumber..moving from  darkness to light, as I plan to do also this week.     (If you cannot see the images, click here to go to full post). This week’s inspiration board:

We live our days in whirlwind of chaotic motion and noise on the surface level.  We send all our energy outward to the millions of messages demanding your attention. The accompanying roller coaster of anxiety and fear leave us feeling exhausted.

Good news…we have the power to shut it down, to go beneath the surface and redirect our energy inward, if we chose to take it.

Start small with JUST ONE LITTLE THING THIS WEEK:

Unplug.  Choose a time.  Take your power back and shut down the rapid fire messages demanding your attention.  Listen.  That means no TV, internet, IPod, cell phone, reading materials.  Just you.  Just “being”.

Whatever this means for you…whenever it works for you.  Early morning.  Late at night. Maybe it means actually sitting down at the coffee shop and enjoying your latte without anything competing for your attention.  Maybe it means going for a run or walk with no IPod.  Maybe it is giving yourself a quiet manicure with the Color of the Week (can’t wait to share it with you tomorrow!)

Fair warning, at first, this feels very uncomfortable.  That is fine.  Just breathe and experience it.  You find that the more you do this…the lighter you feel.  Like a weight and burden is being lifted.  You feel peaceful stillness and freedom when you take time to slip under the surface and hang out with your soul.  When you start listening to it…it has some pretty cool things to tell you.  But you have to shut off the noise before you can ever hope to hear it.

This week is all about:

 

 

 

 

 

QUIET NOT CHAOS.  To see the full Polished Life Manifesto, click here.

 

Photo credits:  Elle Decor, Elie Saab Spring 2011 Collection, Pantone Spring 2011 Color

HOW TO: FIND YOUR OWN INSPIRATION & MOTIVATION

All of the answers to all of your questions are right inside of you. You just have to get quiet enough to hear them….or in my case SEE them! I developed a method that absolutely works to find my answers, inspiration and motivation and I want to share it with you.

It is still hard for me to quiet the rapid fire thoughts in my brain, so I do something I call “visual thinking”. It gets me really focused, and in the end I have a really cool picture/map of where I am going.

This week’s JUST ONE LITTLE THING was answering the question “What lights my soul on fire?”… And this is HOW I find my own answers: (if you can’t see photos on your email feed, click here)

1. Materials Needed:
- Get a big piece of paper. Regular notebook paper is too small for me. I’ve got a lot to say and I want to be free! I buy the “Crayola Floor Pad” ($3-$5 at Target, Walmart- in the marker aisle)
-Something to write with. Color inspires me so I use Sharpie pens.
2. Create the moment (treat yourself well!) :
- Make a cup of tea or whatever you love.
- Light a candle.
- Turn all exterior noise and distractions OFF…except soft music if you like.
3. Go with it:
Write down the question. Let your soul speak and don’t censor it. Let it move through your brain, direct your hand, and wind up with a really cool result on paper. I usually end up with a lot of arrows, doodles, and new ideas I never thought of.
4. Pick your direction:
I take out a highlighter pen and highlight the 2-3 things to do next to move this inspiration into action…motivation. If I feel I am getting lost/distracted/frustrated, it helps to look back at my “soul’s drawing” and review…then back on track.

So, in case you are curious on my own answer to this week’s JUST ONE LITTLE THING:

I have vibrant enthusiasm and passion for designing anything and everything. That is the core of what Polished Life is…it is designing your life for maximum joy, potential and possibility.

An interesting connection I discovered in my own “soul drawing” was that I have equal passion for seeking new inspiration and elements (traveling, learning, reading blogs, taking classes, new experiences, etc…) I hope to be a source of inspiration to other women and build a community full of good energy to inspire each other. That is the coolest thing about this blog. It has to be absolutely authentic and there is no way for me to “fake it”, ever. So I am grateful to my readers for holding me accountable each week.

What was your answer to this question this week?? If it was “I don’t know” (a very common answer), the first thing to explore on that drawing is trying new things and seeking new sources for inspiration… I would love for you to share your discovered passions in the comments.

Have a fabulous weekend!
Heidi

ONE MILLION WAYS TO WASTE YOUR LIFE OR INSPIRE IT…

One year ago today, my beloved “Grandma Z” passed on. Talk about an example of a “Polished Life”… She was the youngest of 8 children and her mother died shortly after she was born. She still survived the Great Depression, polio and cancer. She fell in love with my grandfather and saw him through his tour of duty in WWII. They had two children, one dying tragically young. She was not without unthinkable challenges and tragedy, yet she ran her own business and the family farm while raising two small children. She kept an immaculate house, made fresh meals each day and the real shock is that she did it all in HEELS! She was so beautiful, inside and out. She MADE time for her appearance, as well as for everything and everyone she loved. She is a precious soul that continues to light my way. I keep her on my list of people that influence and inspire me.

While considering this week’s JUST ONE LITTLE THING: “What lights your soul on fire?”, think about the people that support and influence what you are passionate about. Ask yourself “Who lights my way?”, and…

1. Put them on a list! Start a list of people that influence you in a positive way. It can and should include people in your circle as well as “professionals” (writers, artists, etc…)

2. Shift your attention to those that inspire you. Study their example. “Declutter” the influences of those not on your list. You are getting no value reading about what your high school friend ate for dinner on Facebook or Lindsay Lohan’s latest drama in the “entertainment sludge”. Follow those people that inspire you on Facebook instead, and “hide” the rest. The quality of your life will improve instantly.

3. Share resources to inspire another. I set my sister up last week with a “Google Reader” to read blogs the will inspire her and support her passions. She was astounded by what I showed her. She then did the same thing to set up her best friend and they are now spending their normal “Facebook time” adding quality influences to their passions.

In this digital age there are one million and one ways to waste your life, AND there are also one million and one ways to inspire your soul. The choice is yours…
LIVE your life, ladies.
Heidi

BLUE NAIL POLISH TREND: SPRING 2011

I am currently in the process of evaluating the blue nail polish trend for Spring 2011.  Of course, I am looking to choose the most sophisticated shade of blue nail polish that feels new and fresh.  I will announce the winner in May, so stay tuned (click here to subscribe).

In the mean time, here are the celebrities that I think, have worn it really well.  What do you think?  Are you loving it or leaving it?

Kendall Jenner from People.com
Selena Gomez- LOVE this look...
Kat Graham Photo by Toby Canham/Getty Images North America from http://stylebistro.com
Tiffany Hines at Peoples Choice Awards...Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images North America from StyleBistro.com
Mena Suvari- Stunning. Love with the black & leopard!Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images North America from www.stylebistro.com

MORE to come….stay tuned!

 

PASSION NOT PASSIVE.

“I’ve always admitted that I’m ruled by my passions.”- Elizabeth Taylor

Ironic that as we think about vibrant enthusiasm…passion this week, one of the most passionate women of our era has passed on.  I’ve been thinking about how Elizabeth Taylor felt at the end.  She absolutely lived by her own rules and followed her heart.  Although she was not without her fair share of heartache and drama, it’s to be expected as a sign of  living boldly.  What a shame and a waste if she would have played it safe. I believe she looked backed in absolute joy knowing that she danced her own dance, her way.    Thinking about her life is inspiring me to think bigger, act bolder, follow my heart with no fear.  What other way is there to live fully?

We all get one shot at this dance called life… thank you, Ms. Taylor for letting us share yours.

NAIL POLISH COLOR OF THE WEEK: Late March

Color Name: “Don’t Tell Mama”

By: Deborah Lippmann

Nail Polish Wardrobe Category: Trend

Color Description: Deep Peacock- dark blue,green, black

Why it works right now:

There is only one word to describe this nail polish color….stunning.  I can’t take my eyes off of it!

Black nail polish is feeling very tired, flat and way too “goth” to me, I’m over it.  “Don’t Tell Mama” is a dramatic dark moody nail polish that is full of dimension, exactly what I want right now…vibrant, radiant and full of life.   It is perfect for this week, I just had to have it.  (I got mine here- blue mercury)

Nail polish and my soul this week:

I took some quiet “me time” to polish my nails with “Don’t Tell Mama” and listen to my soul’s answer to this week’s  JUST ONE LITTLE THING:

What lights my soul on fire? I mean..excited, obsessed, fired-up, vibrant, enthusiastic, passionate, wakes-me-up-at-night kind of fire in my soul.

At the end of the week I will have heard the answer, loud and clear, and have formulated a plan on how I can DO MORE of this.

But what sets my soul on fire, means nothing to you.  The important thing is for you to spend some of your own quiet time…giving yourself a manicure and listening to what your heart has to say about that question.  Put no limits on your answer. Do not let your brain censor your soul. Dream big. Let your imagination run wild. The answer will fill you with vibrant enthusiasm, and you will just know what direction to start walking.

If the answer is that you don’t know, it is still a place to start walking to find it. Fire it up this week, ladies. I wish you all a few “peacock” moments of feeling alive, vibrant, enthusiastic, and fabulous…because you are.

INSPIRATION: PEACOCK…VIBRANT ENTHUSIASM.

With positive energy from last week coursing through my veins, I feel awake, alive and optimistic. Therefore, this week’s inspiration is all about vibrant enthusiasm.

As for this week’s Inspiration Board, clearly the peacock is IT for me. I absolutely fell in love with the bedroom photo (apartment therapy). Even though my current condo renovation was just finished that didn’t stop me from fantasizing about peacock walls and rich camel and gold accessories. When I saw a new loft for sale over the weekend I couldn’t stop thinking about buying it just to do this (not gonna happen!).

But that doesn’t mean I can’t wear something just as fabulous -especially on my nails. I love unexpected color palettes and gasped at the fashion photo from Haider Ackermann’s Fall runway show (sartorialist). Peacock with Olive and Aegean blue- makes my heart sing! These are the most fabulous colors to be wearing at this time of year while crossing over. They are alive and vibrant while still understated, sophisticated and appropriate. Mixed with camel or olive basics and gold accessories, it’s just stunning…I can’t wait to show you the Nail Polish Color of the Week tomorrow!

Although the peacock’s beauty is breathtaking, I am equally inspired because it is a traditional symbol of renewal and resurrection, a modern day phoenix. I’ve endured a few rough years of starting over and recreating myself. I find myself on a new path full of possibility and this week I will be asking….

JUST ONE LITTLE THING:

What lights your soul on fire? (What are you truly enthusiastic about and how can you do more of that?)

WITH GRATITUDE, GOODBYE WINTER…



JUST ONE LITTLE THING that I challenged myself to do this week was to find peace and gratitude and keep a positive attitude about winter, instead of complaining about it still holding on here in Chicago. This my result. I hope that you were inspired to find your own peace and gratitude this week also.

Photo credits:
savorysavant.com, Sprout Organic Restaurant Chicago, Louis Vuitton (current ad)

I’M OFF THE HOOK!


It’s fascinating what the universe has to say to you once you start listening.

I went into this week challenging myself to be grateful and find peace with all good things that were part of winter, as I said goodbye and crossed over into spring.

When I became more conscious of my thoughts and actions, I realized…I’ve become really negative recently! I have always considered myself a really happy, positive, upbeat person but somewhere along the line, that has slipped. My negative attitude towards winter was just the prelude to what I need to work on.

I also work in real estate development and sales. I probably don’t have to explain where my negative energy towards the industry and economy originated recently. Adopting this habit was a way to manage clients expectations and “give it to them straight”. Then it became a tool to commiserate with colleagues, as sort of “join the club”. Now I realize, it is just so unproductive!

JUST ONE LITTLE THING that I have learned this week that I will take with me is:

The sources of my negative energy are beyond my control, but I have ABSOLUTE CONTROL over one thing…my own attitude. If I choose positive, I get positive. If I choose negative, I get negative. It’s up to me.

Sweet- I am off the hook! I can stop the frustration from trying to change other people, circumstances, the whole world, all I have to do is change my own thoughts. Simple and I can do that.

Perhaps as a positive sign from the universe this week, I saw a little plaque on a wall in bakery that read:
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Theodore Roosevelt. And I might add…with a smile.
Peace,
Heidi

ALL APPEARS TO CHANGE WHEN WE CHANGE…

“All appears to change when we change.” -Henri-Frédéric Amiel

My inspiration this week to consciously change my attitude when I cannot change my circumstances, appears to be producing astonishing results. And for that I am really grateful!

I chose this week’s “JUST ONE LITTLE THING” because it would be particularly challenging since this is one of the last weeks of this year’s vicious winter. If there was ever a time to test my gratitude, now would be it.

And tested, I have been. Negative energy has been sent my way via complaints about everything from the weather to the economy. My normal response would be to commiserate. This week I have smiled and responded “this too shall pass”.

And pass, it has. Of course, not every situation has changed and improved, but my own thoughts have, and that is the only thing I get to control anyway. The results have me feeling good enough to continue to look for the good in the now. I am amazed by what JUST ONE LITTLE THING can do.

Let me know how it is working for you…

NAIL POLISH COLOR OF THE WEEK: Mid March


Color Name: “You don’t know Jacques”

By: OPI

Nail Polish Wardrobe Category: Classic

Color Description: Gray/Beige (Greige)

Why it works right now:

It is the PERFECT hybrid of gray and brown. The brown warms it up and the gray keeps it really sophisticated. This is not a new color, but it is a classic wardrobe staple.

Moving away from the vampy darks of winter, and moving towards the lights of spring, this color is “crossing over”, just as we are right now. Although we are all excited to get into the bright new trends of spring, for now, this is a timeless classic and appropriate.

Nail polish and my soul this week:

Every time I notice/admire my new manicure (dialing my phone, at the ATM, etc…) I will acknowledge JUST ONE LITTLE THING that I am grateful that this winter has taught me, as I say goodbye to it. At the end of the week I will post my gratitude list and reflect on how I have celebrated this week, instead of wishing it away and complaining about winter holding on.

Do you want to join me? I would love it if you would comment/share with me what your answer to this week’s JUST ONE LITTLE THING is:
What are you most grateful for that winter has taught you/brought you this year?

(And yes, those are actually my hands. Obviously I am not a hand model, but those hands have done a lot of hard work that I am really proud of, and I will celebrate them too. Imperfections and all.)

CROSSING OVER…


March in Chicago, as in many climates of the world, is all about “crossing over” (also one of my favorite themes from Eat Pray Love). I believe we see more change within this month, than in any other. We start in the depths of winter and end with signs of life flourishing all around us.

I’ve spent many a March wishing it away as to get one day closer to the life that starts stirring in April. Since I’ve started to realize that “I don’t control March, but I do get to control my attitude about March”, I have decided to celebrate the present, instead of wishing it away this week.

This is a huge challenge for me, because I intensely dislike (truthfully, I hate) the winter here. Instead of whining about the gray cold days on Facebook for the rest of the month (a very common theme in my circle), I choose to celebrate the good in the now, this week.

I chose this week’s Nail Polish Color of the Week to be a beautiful reminder of “the now”, and I will announce it tomorrow. My “inspiration board” (above) for this week shows images that reflect what I am most grateful for this winter…more to come.

Here is JUST ONE LITTLE THING to think about this week:

WHAT ARE YOU MOST GRATEFUL THAT THE WINTER HAS TAUGHT YOU/ BROUGHT YOU THIS YEAR?

Photo credits in Inspiration Board (clockwise):
Gorsuch, TheLennoxx, Sprout Organic Restaurant, Louis Vuitton

WHAT IT MEANS TO LIVE A POLISHED LIFE…




This is the Polished Life Manifesto. I wrote it as a simple guide to keep me on the path to being the person that I want to be, and living the life I want to live. I hope you will find inspiration in it also.

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU FELT THIS GOOD?



I absolutely LOVE this video. At one time we all felt this good. But over time our brains become tarnished by what they are told. We hold on to ideas that are not true and they begin to cloud our reality. It’s highly possible to clean out your cluttered subconscious mind by suggesting more positive ideas to it. Perhaps a spring cleaning is in order. More to come on that later, but for today…just look in the mirror and say one awesome thing about you. Believe it…it is true.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Christmas came early…the newest nail polish shade arrived!

the newest color is here!

It may be a silent night somewhere, but not over here!!  We are doing the “happy dance” in our office since hundreds of bottles of the newest must have nail polish arrived.  The color is just stunning, and mostly sold out online.  Of course, I can’t tell you what is… but you know it’s good when you are getting a mani/pedi and on your way out two women stop you to ask you what you were wearing.  They looked really disappointed when I told them I brought it with me since its a luxury boutique brand, and I always bring my own polish!  I am thrilled to be wearing this shade over the holiday weekend…yours will be on the way to your mailbox soon!

Making of a Moment…out of shopping mall chaos.

As many of you head out to brave the malls to finish up your Christmas shopping, you are probably feeling a little overwhelmed right about now.  The list of expectations, especially on women, during the holidays can make the whole thing really…not fun.  Somehow “visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads” have become “visions of long lines, no parking spaces, pressure, expectations and chaos.”  We all have thoughts of “I can’t wait until this is over” sometimes.  In the extreme effort we put in to creating the absolute perfect memory on Christmas Day, we completely miss an entire season worth of joyful moments.  Instead we fill it with unnecessary stress.  Well…that is all about to end because YOU can change it all starting now.

Next time you head out to the mall, all you need to do is make a little mental shift.  Turn the experience into a MOMENT, not a chore.

“Smile, breathe, and go slowly”- Thich Nhat Hanh

Smile…

It is amazing the response you get back from the universe when you start to put good energy into it.  The simplest way to do that is with a smile.  Try it.  When you look anyone in the eyes, smile.   It is instant good energy that goes straight to their soul, and they tend to give it right back to you.  It’s amazing how this one little change, can improve your entire day.

Breathe…

If the lines are long…perfect, it’s a chance to observe, to breathe.  Take this time to be grateful that you are able to buy whatever is in your hands, and be grateful for the person you are going to give it to.  Then move on, breathing deeply, with joy in your soul.

Go slowly…

Move slower.  Hold the door open for someone.  Really look at the beautiful decorations and all of the interesting things in the stores. Actually hear the music playing.  Make this a date with yourself, and treat yourself well.  Get a cup of coffee or tea and either sit and take in the scene or walk around and observe.  Perhaps you might buy a little gift for yourself that also makes you feel beautiful, and be just as grateful for opportunity to do so.

The frantic pace and stress levels this time of year are frightening.  It is estimated that stress is related to 99% of all illnesses.  That is staggering and scary, but the good news is that our stress levels are totally under our own control.  We are only stressed when we choose to be.

You will undoubtedly run into someone that is moving at a high stress frantic, irrational pace.  You can physically feel the bad energy and stress coming from them.  They do not need to affect you.  Breathe, smile, let them pass, wish them peace, and move on in good energy.

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” -Gandhi

Finally, realize you don’t need to get everything done as fast as you think you do.  When your goal is to do more, faster, you are totally missing the point.  You are trading the quality of the moment for the quantity of tasks you can do.  That is no way to live.

I remind myself almost every morning of the value of each day with our “good morning , beautiful” video, so I do not forgot to value today’s moments because I am trading a day of my life for it.  You can tell yourself you wasted a day of your life running errands, or you can tell yourself you enjoyed a day of your life totally immersed the spirit of the season.  The choice is yours…

shine on…

Well, it seems that the universe has introduced us. Thank you for your time to read this as I share my personal journey towards a Polished Life.

Leading a Polished Life is all about finding a connection between your beauty and your soul. It is discovering a place where you’ve “got it together”. I believe we get one precious chance at this dance called life. I want mine to look and feel radiant and exhilarating…and I hope that you will join me.

Like most women, the frantic pace of my life eventually lead me to a place where I felt exhausted and totally disappointed. I looked as bad as I felt. Everything I was chasing had eluded me. Trying to be everything to everyone left me feeling incredibly depleted. I was scared to death to look back on my life with disappointment and think “That was it? Why did I waste so much precious time?”

So I started to seek inspiration, as you might be doing now. I sought guidance in books, video, experts, groups, new experiences, you name it. What all the lessons taught me was that in order to feel really alive again, I wanted to be one part beauty…one part soul.

Making the connection between the two was the key to revealing entirely new possibilities. I didn’t make a radical overnight change. I didn’t quit my job or travel the world to find the answer. I found the answers inside of me, waiting patiently, right underneath the surface. All I really needed to do was quiet the noise in my life, listen to what my soul was asking me, and then act on what it told me. It was then…that I began to live a Polished Life.

To feel “polished” I wanted to be….one part beauty. I wanted to develop my own personal style and look my personal best. I believe nail polish is the perfect first step in this discovery process. It is an inexpensive, instant makeover that is the perfect chance to experiment with new trends. Without a doubt, I always felt better when my nails looked beautiful. Applying it is also the perfect time to spend some quality time with your soul. Manicured nails show the world you care about yourself, and a perfect reminder of just how beautiful you are.

I also found I needed to be….one part soul. My soul was the one resource I had overlooked during the time I was seeking the answers in external sources. Ironically it’s the only resource that is free, provides unlimited inspiration and insight, and is completely under my control. It is the missing piece that provides the peace and contentment with outer beauty. It is the light from inside that provides the lasting shine on the outside.

I’m inspired to share what I’ve learned and support women that are also on a journey to shine on. Thank you for sharing a few moments with me, and I hope to take a few steps together as we dance towards a Polished Life…

“Shine on you crazy diamond” -Pink Floyd