Lifestyle, Styling

Spark Joy

Unless you live under a rock, by now you’ve watched – or seen enough memes to know – the Marie Kondo special on Netflix. This petite Japanese woman has simultaneously inspired and shamed all of us into getting rid of stuff that doesn’t “spark joy.” So while doing my own household purge, I began to consider the Konmari Method in terms of life and mental health. If we say Thank You and let go of a shirt that doesn’t serve us, why can’t we do the same to friends and activities that leave us feeling like a deflated balloon?

Think of it like this: what events do you participate in that spark joy? That you find energizing and fulfilling? Do more of that! And surround yourself with friends who support and encourage you versus the ones who thrive on drama and negativity. In addition to my yearly resolutions to work out more and drink less alcohol, I’m making a promise to myself to get involved with people and projects that make my heart happy!

 

In the digital age, social media has us hanging on every like and share. We get FOMO seeing other people’s party pics and spiral into overthinking when a crush doesn’t text us back (but follows all of your IG stories??). Do these actions make us feel good? Hell no! So thank you, next. This year is about trying the new restaurant alone instead of not at all. It’s about staying in for a little R&R on a Saturday night instead of feeling obligated to go out. Above all else, this year is about putting your mental and physical health before your social (media) status.

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A hobby I seem to always go back to is singing. I’ve been singing since I was a kid and have performed numerous times, but at the end of the day I sing for me and no body else. Sure, the applause is nice (credit to my Leo Rising), but nothing beats the feeling of pouring your heart into a song that conveys the emotions you can’t quite explain. Maybe that’s why, as I’ve grown older, my taste has shifted from early 2000’s emo classics to jazz standards of the early 20th century.

 

About five years ago I began singing with a jazz band which transformed into starting a group including my dad and brother, Olive & the Martinis. We recently had a photo shoot to update our website and it’s so cool to see how we’ve all changed. A big difference for me is my body, as I’ve recently embraced my curves instead of trying to fight them. While quite a contrast from my slim collegiate figure, it’s nice to have the sense of self and confidence to know I am more than my physique. I want to treat my body well and keep it healthy, because it allows me to do all those things I enjoy, but I no longer base my value on my ability to conform to society’s very narrow ideals of female beauty. As long as I can sing and dance, garden and create, I’m happy!

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So say Thank You to the friends who taught you that you deserve better, because they did not value you. Thank you to the experiences that helped shape the person you are today, because they showed you how you don’t want to live. This year, embrace yourself and remember that no one but you can define your own success. Continue to find ways to bring joy to your life and spark joy in other’s!

 

 

Special thanks to Cortez Raleigh (location) & Megan Long (photography).

Wardrobe styling by your’s truly 😉

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Lifestyle

Changes

“Time may change me
But I can’t trace time”

— David Bowie

As you finish one chapter in life and begin another,
you reflect on all that you have accomplished
and all that you still want to complete.

2014 was a big year for me:
It was my first year out of college
I moved in to my first apartment by myself
I started an amazing job
(a real, grown-up salary job with vacation days and health insurance!)
I adopted a kitten, Lunar Eclipse
and I launched the Style Asset blog.

But there is still so much I am working on and that I have to do!

Some goals cannot be completed within a year.
They are journeys that take time and dedication.

One of my biggest journeys has been in the health & wellness sector of my life.
About two years ago I began eating better, thanks to a book that changed my perspective on food,
(Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman)
But this healthy eating led to unwanted weight gain.
Looking back now, I can see that prior to changes in my eating habits I was unhealthy.
Yes, I was skinny and everyone gawked at my tiny frame and I loved it,
but I was not healthy.

Healthy is a two-part program.
I had the eating part right, now it was time to work on the dreaded exercise portion.
So last year I joined a gym and went maybe three times a month.
Pathetic! How can I expect change when I put in so little effort?
Well, I did change: I gained 10 lbs, but my body fat remained at 19%.
That’s good, right? Maybe, but it’s not what I wanted.
Needless to say, I am not wasting money on a gym membership in 2015.
There are other ways to be active that suit different lifestyles.
I recently signed up for Daily Burn, an at-home work-out program,
and so far I’ve been able to stick with the weekly regime.

Fingers crossed that this helps me achieve my wellness goals:
not to be super skinny, but to be the best version of me that I can be.
I will not look at super models and envy their long legs or their 23″ waist,
because I have strong legs and beautiful curves.

2015 is about loving my outward appearance for what it is
and bettering myself mentally & physically.
In 2015 I will read more, I will drink more water and less wine,
I will use less salt, I will cook a majority of my meals in my own kitchen, & I will exercise weekly.
In 2015 I will continue growing Style Asset by encouraging my creativity
and not letting a busy work week drain me of energy to express that creativity.
This year, I vow to shop smarter by investing in quality pieces
rather than buying something “because it’s only $10, so why not?”
I will consume less and save more.
I will prepare my body & mind for this amazing future that I have in store.

2015 is gonna be big.

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