2016 Happies and Crappies

Happies and Crappies.

When I was an RA in college, we’d go around as a staff and share our happies and crappies for the week as a way to get connected before our meetings. It was fun and I feel like even though 2016 was full of crappies but there were lots of happies too. Here’s my list of happies because I don’t really feel like reflecting on the crappies.

Happies:
Finally learned how to do a real deal push-up on my toes.
Ran my 6th and 7th marathons.
Trained harder than I ever have before for 7th marathon.
Moved to California.
Got a puppy!
Became a Chloe + Isabel leader.
Took more selfies. Haha 😉
Met so many new amazing people.
Practiced prioritizing myself and #selfcare.
Spent a lot of time reflecting on what I want out of my career.
Dreamed bigger than I ever have before.grateful-heart-pink-02I’m the kind of person who is ready to welcome 2017 and all of my new goals/dreams without taking the time to think about what I accomplished in 2016. That is important too! What are you proud of? What are some of your 2016 happies? Celebrate your wins today. xo

It’s impossible to “just look” at husky puppies (& 29 other lessons learned during the first 6 months in Fresno)

6 months ago we packed up our lives in Bloomington, IL where we had lived for 2 years and moved to Fresno, CA. We drove ourselves and what could fit in our car while the rest of our stuff met us here 2 weeks later. We took our time on the road trip stopping along the way to see family and friends. #mancotofresno

Colin’s job spurred this relocation but it was something that has been on our hearts for awhile: the west. This past summer was a whirlwind and I feel like we are just starting to feel settled here and calling Fresno home. I didn’t spend much time blogging or reflecting on the experience of moving so I’m taking this time over winter break to do just that. Taking a deep breath and being so so so thankful.

Our roadtrip looked like this:

  • Bloomington to Ames, Iowa so I could show Colin where a piece of my heart still lies, at Iowa State. Go Cyclones!
  • Ames, Iowa to Lincoln, Nebraska. Not much to report there.
  • Lincoln, Nebraska to Denver, Colorado to stay with our good friends, DJ & Mariesha.
  • Denver, Colorado to Colorado Springs, Colorado to see Colin’s dad and go fly fishing!
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado to Flagstaff, Arizona.
  • Flagstaff, Arizona to Albuquerque, New Mexico to have lunch with Jenny!
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico to Phoenix, Arizona to to see my grandparents and Colin’s great aunt & uncle.
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico to San Diego, CA.
  • San Diego, CA to Fresno, CA. #homesweethome

untitled-design-3It was a lot of car time but it was also a blast. We got to see some amazing people and places. We didn’t get sick of each other, but we did get sick of hotels. We were creative with getting our workouts in on the road. We spent a week in sunny San Diego exploring and relaxing. It was my first time to California since I was a little girl and was a flower girl in a wedding. Then, we made it to Fresno!

The list below just barely scratches the surface of things I’ve learned since we arrived here 6 months ago… Fresno is a pretty incredible place! I hope you’ll come visit us and check it out soon.

  1. The lack of humidity here makes 110+ in the summer not feel so bad.
  2. It’s impossible to “just look” at puppies. Meet Denver, our new husky puppy.
  3. Fresno is full of Bulldog pride.
  4. Heat rash is a thing and when it happens on your face, it’s awful. The cure? Copious amounts of aloe.
  5. Being a homeowner is exciting + scary + overwhelming + feels like real-deal adulting.
  6. California isn’t all “Hollywood” and actually people are super down-to-earth here.
  7. Trying to go for a run in the middle of the day when it’s 120 degrees outside  is not safe or smart.
  8. Being unemployed is awkward and hard.
  9. Job searching is tedious and exhausting.
  10. Sometimes, all the right pieces fall into place at all the right times.
  11. Making decisions based solely on what’s best for you isn’t always easy, but it’s better in the long run.
  12. Having the best realtor in the world made the house buying process so much better and a little less scary.
  13. My #chloeandisabel community continues to mean more than ever, no matter where I live.
  14. Running a marathon in the same town you live in is a super convenient thing.
  15. It’s still weird to see palm trees when I walk out of Target.
  16. The craft beer here is really great.
  17. I need to learn more about wine.
  18. If you’re going to run long distances in Fresno, you need to invest in a hydration pack.
  19. In & Out Burger is pretty amazing, but the line is always way too long.
  20. Having access to both the beach and the mountains is pretty incredible.
  21. Moving halfway across the country means my #snailmail has increased quite a bit! Let’s be penpals!
  22. People here are very dramatic about the weather. Foggy starts instead of snow days? I’ll take it.
  23. The Pacific time zone has it’s perks, but I’m still not used to it.
  24. A cross country road trip leaves plenty of car time to make a music video.
  25. It does get cold here, just not Chicago-cold.
  26. San Diego is one of the coolest places to spend a week. Use Groupon.
  27. Having an REI in the same town we live in makes us feel like “we made it”.
  28. I lost my “thick skin” already and I need a sweater if it drops below 75.
  29. We are very close to both Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks.
  30. Fall lasts forever here! There are still leaves on the ground at the end of December.

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My latest #StichFix

I blogged about my first-ever Stitch Fix here. I had a lot of fun sharing my pieces and hearing what you all thought! I’ve had a few awesome fixes since then, but I also took a break for awhile. One of the things I love about Stitch Fix is that it is super easy to manage your account and postpone, schedule, cancel fixes.

Also, their customer service is top-notch.

Thought I’d share my fix from this week because it was an all out home run. If you haven’t given it a try, you totally should. You pay a $20 styling fee which is then subtracted off any of the items you want to keep. Don’t want to keep anything? No problem! Just mail it all back. Shipping to and fro is free. Love that!

You have all the customization options you could want. I tell them not to send jewelry, shoes, or purses. I got a cardigan, a pair of pants, a sweater, and a top in my latest fix. All fit. All I love.

Note: My pictures are terrible. I didn’t have the best lighting but hopefully you get the idea. 

Item #1: Slub Knit Open Cardigan
Love the color, the fit, and the style.

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Item #2: Raglan Knit Top
SO cute. Love stripes. Nice and long too.

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Item #3: Lace Detail Dress
Didn’t need a LBD but I also don’t own one. And they say every girl should right? This one fit like a charm and I feel like I could wear it dressed up or down to any event.

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Item #4: Anita Printed Skinny Pant
Okay, you can’t tell in the pictures but these are actually like dark brown striped. Super fun! And classy. AND LONG ENOUGH SO I HAD TO KEEP THEM BECAUSE, FINDING PANTS IS IMPOSSIBLE. They also have all the stretch which I love! I am not sure how #StitchFix can buy me pants but I can’t find any myself when I go shopping at stores. #magic

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Item #5: Striped Crew Neck Sweater
Hello fall. (Fall seems to last all winter here. Not complaining about that or this sweater.)

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If you sign up, be sure to share pics of your fix with me! xo

My Favorite Necklace: Aventine Long Pendant

I have a lot of favorite things. I have a tendency to even say that everything is my favorite thing. But this piece for real, is my true love – the one that I tell everyone they must have.

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I talk a lot about this necklace. I ‘gram it even more than I talk about it. I wear it even more than I talk about it and ‘gram it. I love it so much, I’ve decided it even deserves it’s own blog post. What’s the deal? Why do I love it so much? Here’s why:

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  1. The detail.
  2. It’s elongating.
  3. Dress it up or down.
  4. Sparkle.

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Get it here and send me a selfie once you have it in your pretty hands! xo

Danielle and Liz, twinning!

Danielle and Liz, twinning!

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If you want to hear more about my Chloe + Isabel business feel free to contact me or read other posts #ontheblog here.

Pay for someone else’s coffee in the Starbucks drive-thru. #30Before30

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July 16, 2015
I plan on doing this more often.

Grow some of my own vegetables. #30Before30

Summer 2015
This tomatoes plant started out as as seed from the $1 section at Target. It grew inside our pantry all winter and then was upgraded to our sunporch come spring! The tomatoes are delicious! Colin was very helpful in remembering to water it. 

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Become puppy parents.  #30Before30

Meet Denver. He came home on 11/26/2016 @ 8 weeks old.

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My Ever-Changing C+I Why

As you probably already know, I have been a C+I merchandiser for just over 2 years now. Crazy how time flies! I have moved from managing my own business, to also leading a team of amazing women. The C+I opportunity has been transformational for me, in many different ways. I first wrote about my C+I why here.

I’ve been reflecting a lot on this experience lately even more deeply as I’ve also been reflecting on my career in general and what I want. I’m sharing this with you today because I am so grateful for your support in all ways, each and every day.

I took the plunge into this community in a very timid way. I was afraid of being one of “those people” and I was afraid of what people would think of me. On the other hand, I was desperate for community after graduate school, and also a way to channel some creativity and energy now that I didn’t have homework and weekly reflections to write. I was actually missing those things. I also was in a professional role and lacking majorly in the accessories department. I was someone who my mom had to remind me to put earrings in every day in high school and I’d still refuse 99% of the time. Now, I feel naked without my studs. I clicked on a C+I Facebook ad and fell in love with everything. I also loved that there was an interview process, and the exclusivity of the community made me feel valued and appreciated.

Chloe + Isabel has given me a group of women that supported me from day one that I now call friends (#blingiton). It’s given me the opportunity to meet so many amazing women that have shopped my boutique and then turned into friends. It’s given me a chance to lead (#themovement) and learn stories from women all over the country. It’s challenged me day in and day out, and it’s taught me a lot about what it means to have your own small business. (Let me know if you’d like to hear more about what it’s like to be a C+I merchandiser, I’m happy to share the nitty gritty deets if you’re thinking about taking the plunge too).

More than anything else though? Chloe + Isabel has taught me to believe in myself. It has shown me how to set goals and smash them. It has taught me about the support of others, getting out of my comfort zone, and dreaming big.

And why do I stick around? For the community. I have really big goals for November (scary!) and I appreciate your support, always! Shop small this holiday season!

 

 

#girlbossseries: Kayla Julius

Name: Kayla Julius

Instagram: @WiscoJulius

14958949_10101082496906171_2070796122_o What does #girlboss mean to you?: A girl-boss is someone who exudes confidence and works her hustle non-strop to provide the best experience possible for her customers.

Tell us about what you do? I have been on the hunt to find ways to help make women feel fearless and confident for a couple of years now. I have been successful on a few fronts already, but have recently upped my game by becoming a Fashion Consultant with LuLaRoe!

How did you get involved? Like most consultants and merchandisers out there, I started as a customer first! By day I am an x-ray tech… wearing scrubs all day long. While I love the comfort that provides me, I don’t get to feel very “pretty” at work in all black. I was introduced to LLR by a friend who told me about these “AAAAAMAZING” butter-soft leggings. I was assured they were both comfortable and cute. I was skeptical. I mean, come-on, a pair of leggings won’t change my life… HA. Well they did. Not only did I find comfort in those leggings, I found a way to show off my individuality with fun prints and patterns, plus I could put together full outfits with LLRs shirts, dresses, and kimonos. I loved LLR so much, I started helping my friend out during her home parties – she brought me along as the muscles to unpack her car – but I quickly became comfortable explaining the brand and styling her customers. It felt amazing to be able to find the perfect pieces for ladies to truly feel confident in. I was sold after helping at 3 in-home parties. The joy and excitement was contagious and I needed more! It was a few weeks later that I submitted my papers to become a consultant and I have never looked back!

One piece of advice: It’s not always a cake walk…. things can get tough… schedules are busy, money can be tight, you can hit roadblocks…. it’s how you use these roadblocks to learn and grow that makes the difference. Do you see that wall and stop, or do you bust through it?

Biggest win in the last year: If you met me in person you would never know it, but I have a HUGE phobia of talking to new people in person. I can easily be a little hermit crab because I get scared going out into the world and meeting new people! Well, after a year of being that hermit (after moving to a new city), I decided to do something about it! I used social media and local community groups, and started a book club! Yea, I know that doesn’t sound like a huge achievement… but for me it was everything. In one years time I got out of the house, conversed with people outside of my job, made new connections, cultivated STRONG friendships, and because of all that, I had the confidence to follow a dream and start a new business adventure with LLR.

Favorite inspirational quote: “What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly!!”

Book recommendation: I’m currently reading Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain… I have a hard time putting it down!! The current series I’m working on in the background is Outlander!

Best way for people to reach you: I am very accessible! I love to chat with people via email or Facebook! Feel free to email any questions or just to say hey – lularoekaylajulius@gmail.com – and you can look me up personally as Kayla Julius (Briehl) and connect with me on my business page at LuLaRoe Kayla Julius on Facebook!

 If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why?: This is going to sound super dorky and cliche… and I don’t know a specific superhero that has this power… but as a radiology tech I have always wanted to have x-ray vision. See, dorky. Haha. I work with so many people that are in pain and need of relief, not only would it help my technical job, but would have a huge impact on individual’s healthcare.

Thanks for sharing, Kayla! For more girl bosses in the series, check out the posts here.