Happy Mother’s Day

“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
~ Abraham Lincoln

Moms should be celebrated every day. However, May 14th is an extra-special day honoring all moms. A day set aside to say “thank you” for all she does. My mom lives in South Africa. I can’t tell you how difficult it’s been living away from her and missing special holidays especially Mother’s Day. This year I feel so blessed and grateful to be spending Mother’s Day with my momma. I’ve been thinking about this day ever since she told me about her plans for a trip to Boston.

Surfing the Internet for a Mother’s Day gift started to stress me out. Gift giving is already a difficult task and when it comes to mom, it felt nearly impossible. I felt the pressure to find the perfect gift to make up for all the Mother’s Day I missed. So, I asked my mom if there was anything that she wanted and she said, “All I want is to spend time with you”.

Then it hit me, Mother’s Day doesn’t have to be about big, expensive gifts or grand gestures. What really matters are the memories – those special things you do with your loved ones. It’s the “presence not presents” that means the most.

I decided to take the time to pamper my mom and make her feel like a queen on her special day… and SHE LOVED IT!!!

Remember, however you choose to honor your mom today, it’s the time you spend with each other and the connection you make that matters the most. Wishing all you fabulous and beautiful mom’s a Happy Mother’s Day.

Photo Credit:  Andrew Swaine

Bootie Pop

I love my pair of black booties or should I say pairs. I can’t tell you the exact amount I own just in case my husband reads this  However, recently I have been wearing my statement-making pair of white patent booties on the regular. I am not the only one. Just do an Instagram search. White booties can make any outfit pop.

They can be styled in so many different ways making them a great option for any season. You can’t go wrong dressing them down with distressed jeans and an oversized t-shirt or dressed up with a cute dress. It is the perfect ensemble for an uber-stylish look.

4 Looks That Prove You Need White Boots in your closet

Photo Credit:  Andrew Swaine

Staying Fit & Motivated with Rachael Novello

Happy Spring Lovelies. Unfortunately, it does not feel much like spring in New England.   It has been bitterly cold and snowy. The weather has really thrown a wrench in my fitness plans. I’ve gotten the flu three times within the last two months and my energy levels have been pretty low. Enough is enough I told myself and reached out to a good friend and fitness guru, Rachael Novello. Rachael invited me to come see her at her Simply Fit studio in Danvers Massachusetts. I was over the moon.

Rachael is a hard worker and her studio is a reflection of the time, dedication and sweat she puts into her work. What I love most about her is her contagious energy. I think if Rachael was not a fitness instructor her calling would be motivational speaker. Just hearing her talk about health and fitness can motivate you to make a change. If hearing her talk fitness is not enough check out her 6 pack abs

Before we started our workout I asked Rachael a few questions.

How did you originally decide to be in the health and wellness industry? It was actually something that came to me over time. I was in corporate banking for almost ten year before I made the switch. When my now husband, Brian, first proposed I knew I wanted to look my best on my wedding day. I began working with a personal trainer and it was through her that I first found my love of health and fitness. From her guidance I was able to transform my body in ways I’d never been to before. She introduced me to weight lifting and it completely shifted my world, not just physically but mentally as well. For the first time I felt strong, confident and capable. It was a feeling I knew I needed to share with other people.

Do you have fitness goals for yourself? If so, what are they? I always have health & fitness goals set for myself. Sometimes it’s as simple as drinking enough water during the day and other times it’s a bit more complex, whether it be training for a triathlon or learning a new move. I very much need accountability in my daily life and I find that by setting time-bound goals allows me to stay on track.

Give me three essential exercises you suggest for all clients? Why are these in your top three? Fitness is different for everyone and as such I would never suggest anything for all clients. Rather, I would say I have specific types of exercise that are highly beneficial for most populations. Cardiovascular exercise, strength training and balance training.

What advice do women always ask you for? We women are so hard on ourselves. The majority of women ask me how to “lose weight quickly” or “what exercises will help me get rid of my stomach.” I spend a lot of time with my clients talking about overall health and fitness and that it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. It takes time and consistency but it’s not impossible.

What does your typical food day look like? I typically eat “clean” 80% of the time. That term itself has been tossed around quite a bit and so for many people it can be hard to define. For me, eating clean means whole foods, complex carbohydrates, lean proteins and healthy fats. I try to start every morning with a meal complete with all three, usually some egg whites, protein pancakes and some sliced avocado. I will follow my workout with a protein drink or a banana with peanut butter. Lunch is a salad of greens, various chopped veggies, some quinoa and lean protein. One thing that is really important to me is having dinner with my family and because of that I don’t typically map out my meals too far in advance. We usually stick with the above, but some nights we’ll have pasta or pizza and I will enjoy that with my family. Anyone that knows me, will tell you that I have a weakness for chocolate and peanut butter so I always find a way to fit that into my day, sometimes I’ll have a Joseph’s peanut butter cup as a sweet treat or I’ll mix some cocoa powder into my protein shake. It’s about balance for me. Being able to eat the foods I like, enjoy a glass of wine when I feel like it or go out for dinner with my husband enables me to truly stay on track during the week.

What advice would you give to someone who hasn’t really been working out to really jump-start that routine?My biggest piece of advice to any new exerciser is to START SLOW. Don’t expect to master everything right away or change overnight. Find something you love to do, something that allows you to connect with yourself and focus on where you are and where you want to go and DO THAT. Enjoy the process of challenging yourself and watching yourself change. The other thing I would say is to find an accountability partner, whether it be your spouse, best friend, mother or a trainer – someone that supports your goals and will be there along the way with an ear to listen or an encouraging word when you get frustrated. Remember, it never gets easier – you just get stronger.

The workout with Rachael was super fun! I really loved the Strongboard workout. Simply Fit has three different Strongboard workouts. Look at the full list of classes here. The 50 minute classes goes by so fast because Rachael keeps her classes dynamic, effective and fun. However, you will feel the burn

I look forward to continuing my fitness journey with Simply Fit!

Photo & Video Credit:  Andrew Swaine

True Beauty

What is true beauty? What does it mean to you? Beauty means different things to different people. I was recently asked this question and I was curious to know what other people perceived as true beauty.

So, I turned to my extraordinary tribe of sisters who inspire and make my world that much more beautiful everyday. I asked them the same question and they immediately responded.

I learned that we are all unique women. We are daughters, sisters, mothers, artists, entrepreneurs, CEOs, pioneers, innovators and trailblazers. We are different colors, shapes, sizes, and ethnicities.  Although we all have different experiences and memories we agree that beauty comes from within  and from moments in our lives that draw upon our strength. To me these amazing women represent “true beauty”.

                                                                           

Happy Valentine’s Day

For those of you who have been following me now for a while know why Valentine’s Day is a holiday near and dear to my heart. This holiday in 2007 was a life changing  day when Andy totally whisked me off my feet and proposed.  To read the post click here.  Although nothing could ever top that Valentine’s Day, this day in Paris was magical.

 

It is a sweet blessing  to love and feel loved in return.  True love, that is real, deep and pure is not easy to come by.  If you have that kind of love, be it for a partner, parent/s, ,sibling/s or friend/s cherish and treasure that love.   Don’t forget to reach out to your loved one/s this Valentine’s Day and let them know you care.  Wishing all you all much love this VDay and always.  

Bling up Valentine’s Day with Azura Jewelry

It’s almost time for candy hearts, chocolates and red roses. You may already have your little red dress picked out for your special date night or your little black dress for Galentine’s Day. Why not take it up a notch with some sparkle. These ethically sourced, gorgeous pieces by Azura Jewelry can dress up your V-Day look – or better yet, send a major hint about these jewels to your significant other ahead of the big day.

These are some of my favorite pieces. Click on the images below to shop.

Unfortunately, the earrings I am wearing is sold out. However, there are plenty of other sparkly pieces to choose from.  I recently shared my excitement on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook about being featured on the  Azura Jewelry  blog.  If you have not already checked out their post, you can read all about it here.

In keeping with my 2018 the “Year of the Woman” theme, I would like to introduce you to Angela the founder and creator of Azura Jewelry.  You can read about her incredible story here.

Enjoy your weekend Lovelies!

*Sponsored  by Azura Jewelry

Layering up in Elizabeth Gillett Scarves

From the “bomb cyclone” to frigid blizzard conditions, this winter has been the most challenging season to look stylish. How is it possible to look chic wearing tons of winter clothes? The answer: What is a Scarf! When the cold keeps me bundled up and my outfit under wraps, these gorgeous scarves by Elizabeth Gillett pulls in double duty as an extra layer of warmth and as a fashion accessory.

I am not the only one to champion the versatility of scarves.  These scarves which feature exclusive artwork by Elizabeth believes a scarf is the ultimate accessory, an outfit-changer that brightens the face like a great shade of lipstick, makes traveling fun and chic, screens us from the cold and helps us edit what’s shown and what’s covered in an easy, one-size, timelessly style-able item.

Scarves, the once-humble wardrobe understudy is definitely one of the must have accessories this winter season. Lightweight and elegant these Elizabeth Gillett scarves can elevate any look. I can’t get enough of the individually dyed kaleidoscopic colors and patterns. As you can see I had so much fun exploring different ways to wear them but however you choose to wear these scarves you’ll probably nail that chic-bundled look.

Do you like accessorizing with scarves? What’s your favorite style?

In keeping with my 2018  the “Year of the Woman” theme,  it is nice to hear and read about successful female entrepreneurs.  Elizabeth Gillett is one of them.  She started selling her creative designs at the young age of eight and  has not slowed down since.  To read and find out more on how this talented designer and businesswoman got her start check out www.elizabethgillett.com There are some great sales going on as well so you can splurge on a few Elizabeth Gillett scarves this season 🙂

Photo Credit:  Andrew Swaine

Sponsored  by Elizabeth Gillett Scarves

“Suit Up” for 2018 – Year of the Woman

Clothes aren’t going to change the world, the women who wear them will” ~ Ann Klein

Hello Lovelies,

I rang in the New Year by enjoying and sharing a collection of New Year wishes and photos with family and friends. Thank you for all your heartful New Year messages. I love the start of the New Year because it inevitably brings with it a fresh start and a lot of positivity and excitement. I am feeling  optimistic about 2018. I am not the only one who has my hopes set on 2018 as being the Year of the Woman.

2017 was a turbulent year for women’s rights in general. However, despite the many challenges and trying times women continue to rise. More women now than ever are feeling emboldened to raise their voices and fight for the issues that matter most to them, like sexual harassment in the workplace, paid leave,  gender equality, domestic violence, health and safety to name a few. Although there are still many hurdles to overcome woman are ready to move forward towards meaningful progress.

Some of the positive changes we are noticing are more women being elected in leadership roles, more women running for elected office, an increase in women starting up their own businesses and more women in college. The world is starting to take notice as businesses think of new ways to serve and attract female innovators. They are also thinking of ways to market and appeal to women as they control $20 trillion in worldwide spending. Speaking as a blogger, woman are the largest consumers of fashion, we have the power to inspire and empower others through what we choose to purchase. So, I will be choosing wisely.

On this positive note,  I end my first  post of the new year  with a quote from Hillary Clinton, “Despite all the challenges we face, I remain convinced that, yes, the future is female”. So suit-up ladies it’s going to be an epic year !

Photo Credit: Andrew Swaine

Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

I can’t believe that in a few short days we will be welcoming in the New Year. I hope you all are enjoying this holiday season. As I reflect on the past year,  I would like to thank you for making it a special one for me. I appreciate all the love and support  you’ve generously given me.   Andy and I would like to wish you an amazing 2018 full of happiness, love, travel, and memorable moments!

P.S Hope you enjoy my round up of all my favorite posts of 2017. Click on pic for full post.

How to add Holiday Sparkle

The holiday season is indulgent, but not every piece of your wardrobe calls for a decadent splurge.

The key is not to overthink it. Instead of channeling your inner runway model, opt for basics and style them around one statement-making piece like this sequin sweater.

Mix it up with the highs and lows in your closet.

SHOP THE LOOK

                              

I hope this versatile sequin sweater gave you some inspiration for the holidays.  Have a wonderful week ahead Lovelies

Photo Credit:  Andrew Swaine