7/24/17

Ring and Chain Backpack + Monday Motivation

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Last week I had a fun lunch get together with a few blogger friends. Carylee was in town for work so she rounded up some of her San Diego friends (AudreyNoelle and me) for lunch at Breakfast Republic in Liberty Station. Poor Carylee lost her phone the night before, reminding all of us how much we rely on our phones! Almost all of us had met before (it was the first meeting for Audrey and Noelle), but not all at once so it was to catch up and talk about all things life and blogging. Casual gatherings like these are my favorite since it just feels like a get together with friends and not a Blogger Event where I need to look the part of Someone Who Knows About the Latest Fashion to be there! Here's what I ended up wearing:

Tank: Target (Similar options below) | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Target (Similar) | Bag/Backpack: c/o SheIn | Necklace: Stella & Dot (Option) | Ring: Stella & Dot (Gift) | Watch: Fossil (Similar) | Bracelet: Just Fab (Similar)

This is one of those outfits where unfortunately many of the exact pieces I'm wearing are already sold out, so I can't offer a lot in the way of helpful sizing info but I did find a lot of very similar looking options. My jeans are the exception, though, and they are long time favorites. They're soft, comfortable, and run true to size. I'm 5'4" and prefer the short length.

I've noticed a big trend in bags lately is the ring and chain detail, and I think it's really cute as long as it doesn't compromise functionality. I thought this designer-inspired backpack from SheIn would be a really fun way to try the trend.
It's only $20 and comes in several other colors.  Even though I just did a post with all my sizing tips for shopping at SheIn...you won't need them for this! It's a perfect compact size that holds all my stuff without being too big or too small. It's also very easy to open (the ring and chain don't need to be unhooked or detached or anything) and pretty easy to close with the magnetic clasp. I took off the backpack straps because I plan to just use the top handle most of the time. Though I actually did wish I had a backpack purse on a hike recently since my crossbody got annoying, so who knows, the straps might come in handy!

Front View:

Since my Target top is sold out but there are quite a few current options at various retailers, I thought it might be better to show you a few of them at different price points rather than just linking to them:
Joe Fresh $15 | Nordstrom Rack $20 |  Amazon $28 | Nordstrom $59 

We did have our waiter take a couple of group photos at lunch so I'll post them to my Instagram story later today!

Monday Motivation: The Daily Five
Every Monday I share a little bit here about my struggles or successes at staying motivated to work on the values and goals I set for myself this year (see those here). This weekly series has become one of my favorite additions to the blog this year (along with Book Reviews!) and one of my very favorite ways to connect with each of you! I love the comments and ideas you all share with me and it truly helps motivate me to keep going!

I've read quite a few self-development books in the past couple of years, and one thing that comes up frequently in those books is the power of meditation. Yet no matter how many times I've read this, I've never put it into action in my life. I have attempted meditation exactly once, and it just wasn't powerful or enjoyable enough that one time for me to want do it again.

Now I'm sure the authors of those books would tell me that once is not enough and that I need more practice at meditation to see any improvements in my life or even in my desire to meditate. But I just haven't found the motivation to give it another try. My one attempt made it hard for me to believe that it's worth my time to spend several minutes a day doing (what feels like) nothing.

Then last week I had a moment of inspiration. A friend of mine is trying to give up five foods for five weeks in a step toward better health, and the simplicity of that plan appealed to me. I wanted to do something similar for my mental health and something to help me live more intentionally. I came up with a plan to do a daily modified meditation session. I say "modified" because the plan is to write down five things I want to focus on each day (hence "The Daily Five"), and not just be still and think/meditate about those things. Maybe I can work up to that, but since I also believe in the power of writing things down (which comes up about as often as meditation in self-development books), I chose this method because I think I'm more likely to stick to it.

I am planning to do this first thing in the morning to map out my intentions for the day and decide where I really want to focus my mental energy, because I can't do everything every day, and I can't just think "I want to be a better person" and expect it to magically happen. It shouldn't take very long, and that's the point! I want it to be simple so it's easy to complete. I also expect that several of the items will be on my list day after day, and that's okay too. Just like learning to play an instrument, other behaviors can take a lot of practice before they become natural. For example, my list will probably (repeatedly!) include things like:

- Be patient with my kids
- Be a good listener

In the midst of devising my plan last week, I also happened to start a new book called Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself. I'll review it in my next round of book reviews (coming August 8), but I am already enjoying it. This passage in particular seemed to make the point I'm trying to get at with my Daily Five plan:

"Repetition reinforces the circuits in your brain and forms more neural connections so that in your weakest hour, you don't talk yourself out of greatness."

I completed one day of this plan before I got to writing this post, and it was a very positive experience. I wrote my five intentions on a post-it note and referred to them a few times throughout the day. I did find that five might be too many, because when I was away from my note I could only remember 2-3 of my intentions! So it's a work in progress, but based on my Day One experience, I'm going to continue, which is an improvement on my Day One experience with regular meditation!

As always, I love to hear from you! Do you meditate regularly? Have you ever tried to meditate? Or do you have some other method that keeps you accountable and focused on the improvements you want to make in your life? I love new ideas and suggestions so I'm looking forward to your thoughts and experiences!




Linking up with:

CONVERSATION

20 comments:

  1. So fun you got to meet up with some of your blogging friends! I've never been able to mediate - my mind always wonders. I love the idea of writing down 5 intentions for the day. I need to try that!

    Jill
    Doused in Pink

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    1. So far I'm liking it! I do think I'll end up reducing to about three/day though. Five seems to be a little too much!

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  2. You looked so chic at breakfast! I love the details you chose like the sandals and bag. It was so nice to get together and wish we could do it more often!

    I meditate every so often. It just doesn't feel natural so I forget to do it but I do think it's a great practice. I'm excited to hear more your experience with listing your goals each day!

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    1. Thanks Noelle! And I'm pretty sure if I owned a beach front home I would sit outside and meditate more often! Ha!

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  3. Love the look. Those jeans are perfect.

    I dont meditate so much as sit still and try to conceptualize my thoughts. Love the idea of tracking your intentions for the day.

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    1. Thanks Kay! I'm using the term "meditation" pretty loosely myself so I think it sounds like you're already doing a pretty good job if you do that much!

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  4. Wow, the Chloe dupe looks so exact! How is the quality?

    http://www.ticketforadventure.com

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    1. I think it's pretty good, especially for the price. It's fairly similar the quality of something from Target or Aldo. And even at those places you would pay a little more for a similar piece. I really don't have any complaints about it!

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  5. Thank you for linking up with us!! Such a cute outfit! I get so many great pieces from Target!
    I'm started a new Journaling Devotional tomorrow by Sophie Hudson!

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    1. Target is definitely a fave! And the Journaling Devotional sounds interesting. I'll have to check it out!

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  6. I tried meditation but fell asleep everytime, when my brain is so quiet I guess it just shuts down. But a few weeks ago I did something similar to what you want to do, I just didn't write them down. I just focus my energy on the positive and kept reminding myself throughout the day. But repetition is key, once I got comfortable I went back to my old ways but at least now I know I can do it. Adding this book to my list.
    Love your sweet look for the lunch and i think I need this backpack.

    xo
    Pinksole

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    1. You're so right...I do find the repetition to be very important. It's also part of why I wanted to do the writing task I guess. To make it more official and finite.

      I also think you would enjoy this book! It's very interesting and explains concepts that I already believed in a very scientific but also clear and easy to understand way.

      Also, definitely get the backpack! You'll love it!

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  7. I studied meditation a fair amount when studying yoga. I did a walking meditation workshop, and many other workshops that incorporated some meditation. I've read some books on it, and I took a course at the local community college on it that was actually quite good! I think my favorite book on meditation is "8 Minute Meditation" by Victor Davich. When I read this book I followed his advice and mediated 8-15 minutes daily for ??months. Meditation can help you learn to recognize your thoughts and release the ones that aren't helpful. It can also help you to focus on a goal. My religious experience is that focused prayer is very similar. So now I don't 'meditate' regularly, but I do pray daily. And sometimes I do like to meditate/sit and notice the thoughts I'm having, to become more aware of them and how they're affecting me.

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    1. Thank you for the book suggestion! The one I'm currently reading has some similar ideas about using the time to focus on what you do want and letting go of the qualities you don't. That's definitely what I'm aiming for here. I'm always impressed with the wealth of knowledge that you have and all the things you've experienced. You should really start a blog. ;)

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  8. I failed to mention that, yes, it was hard to do and felt like 'wasting time'! But that's kind of our western philosophy - don't waste time! And it did get better with practice. I definitely believe it is not wasting time to take time to ponder/reflect/meditate/pray.

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  9. i have tried to meditate maybe once or twice and it's not something i think works for me. and i think that's okay. i know lots of people love it and yadi yadi yada, and i think whatever works! depending on the reason you meditate, you can find something else that works. if it's to relax, i get that from reading or watching HGTV. if it's for thinking things, my brain does that best when i'm working out. i just can't really quiet my brain when i'm just sitting there. i know meditation is different for everyone and there's lots of different options to make it work for you but eh. i'm not a fan. i skip that part of yoga too lol.

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    1. I totally understand. I haven't had much interest in it myself until recently as I really want to narrow down my focus on certain qualities I want to develop. It's a different intention than just relaxing the mind, but I agree that reading is my favorite for that. :)

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  10. You are the epitome of casual chic! I have never gotten a bag from SheIn so it's good to know they are decent pieces! I love the look of yours!

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    1. Yes, I'm really happy with it! I will definitely spend a little more time going through their bag options in the future!

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  11. I love your style! Great post and blog!

    http://chicglamstyle.com

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