Increasing Happiness: How you Think about Current Life Situations & Apply a Shift (+ boots & shorts style inspo)

Happy Weekend!!! We are in NJ again this weekend, pretty much in chill-ax mode before we are traveling again next week!
Can I be transparent and say that pretty much everything about the past 3 months has been challenging and life changing? It has forced me to be intentional with my thoughts and seek out information that will allow me to grow instead of shrink down into the pit of #stress.
I had a conversation recently with a co-worker and they were asking me what I wanted and made the comment that they wanted me to “be happy.” It was interesting to stop and think about this – because I haven’t actually thought about me, my goals, my future… in a very long time. I am constantly thinking about what will make Calvin happy, what will make my family happy, what will make my co-workers/team members happy, what will make my clients @work happy. Although it’s true that if all of those individuals are happy, so am I, but I also got to thinking about what makes ME happy and how can I have more of that in my life?
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Sometimes it’s the little things, right? Like a cup of coffee in the morning, getting an extra hr of sleep on the weekend, a new lipstick shade, or the feeling when you can tell fall is on its way.
But most of the time in the midst of busy days, weeks, long days and long nights, true happiness takes effort and a commitment to saying, “I’m going to remain positive, no matter what is thrown my way today.” Unfortunately, it does take effort to count your blessings and remember how amazing your life truly is. The realization of this comes from the self-awareness of NOT remaining as positive as I could when challenges or tough situations have come my way in the past.
I also recently listened to a podcast and it was talking about and listing activities that are PROVEN to increase happiness on one’s life. Some examples were silently meditating, journaling each night, committing to 5 random acts of kindness each week, and taking brisk walks 3x a week. While I’m sure these are proven to increase happiness, I couldn’t really relate. Can you imagine me silently meditating each morning in addition to feeding & changing another human being, getting myself ready and commuting to work all before 830am? As a super busy working mom, I’m not in a spot where I can ADD things to my life. Yes I want to achieve ultimate happiness and overcome stress, but I feel like there’s things I’m already doing, that when viewed with a different mindset, could really change my outlook on love, life, and happiness.

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These are some every day realities that could (and often do) weigh on me and prevent me from feeling fully accomplished, fulfilled, and happy. When I change my mindset and develop a PMA (positive mental attitude) these situations are suddenly a blessing instead of a burden:
Situation: Spending weekdays at work, while others get to stay at home with their babes
Shift: You are a strong, hard working, ambitious mom who gets to go to a great job and make money for her family. This job allows you to give your family things and do things together you might not be able to without your income. Your family will look up to you for the things you have accomplished professionally and the success you were able to achieve while balancing both.
You have a long commute
This is YOUR time – time to think, fill your brain with positive info via podcasts or listen to music. Take a deep breath, think your thoughts, and enjoy your cup up coffee the whole way there.
Situation: You’re freaking tired
Solution: Stop and get that damn iced latte if you want it. You deserve it. DUH.
Situation: You don’t have enough time to workout so you’re feeling down on yourself and your body image
Solution: I can’t say we’ll ever have more time, but I’ve been told that if you have a small baby, don’t fret on this. This stage of your life is so quick and fleeting, enjoy it spending time doing what needs to be done (dishes, dinner, baby cuddles, breastfeeding, etc.) Another thing I’ve thought about on this topic…if you don’t have time to workout, you DO have time to eat and drink water (or else you wouldn’t be alive), so make some healthy swaps and it could take some of the stress off of fitting exercise in your schedule.
 Situation: You’re worried about your quality time with your significant other 
Solution: Even being aware of this is key! Keep it top of mind and talk about how you can solve for it. It could be as simple as making sure you eat dinner together, talking about your day each night, or committing to going to bed at the same time each night.
Have you thought lately about what makes you happy? What are your “situations” and “solutions?” How do you view happiness and make sure you are intentional with your thoughts? Any ideas or recos!? Seriously need to hear 🙂

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 *Shop my look*
Black Fringe Boots 
Black MK Watch
White Shorts
Flannel Shirt
Choker
Tank – Similar
More boots/shorts inspo: for when you still want to summer (shorts) but you’re ready for fall (boots!) Love this trend.
Have a great weekend, all!!

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Looking Toward your Amazing Future

I told myself I was going to hold off on any new posts until the baby was here, but ever since I started this “hobby” of blogging, I’ve gotten into the habit of writing, posting, and being able to connect with so many of you through the process that I just couldn’t wait. I figured I’d give both a personal update and talk about the idea of looking toward the future with optimism in our lives.

I definitely thought my next post (this one) would be the announcement of our little guy – turns out he’s keeping everyone on their toes as we are now almost a week past original due date! This is super common for the first born, but we got our hopes up when one of my midwives said he’d be likely here by the end of the first week in Feb! I’m pretty sure my parents’ car has been packed for a full 2 weeks. There’s finally a light at the end of the preggo tunnel as we’ve scheduled induction for Thursday, 2/18 at 7am (watch him come tomorrow.) We had an appointment yesterday that ended up taking about 1.5 hrs and I’m pretty sure baby was visibly moving for all 90 minutes we were there…it was pretty cute.


The idea of being induced is so weird to me and something that didn’t cross my mind until yesterday, as I’ve basically been told he would be early the entire pregnancy. When it’s a surprise you have no choice but to accept that labor is starting – now that’s it’s planned I’ve gone from being frustrated it hasn’t happened, to excited we have the final date in which our lives will change forever.

As we’re about to enter one of the most exciting times of our lives, I can’t help but look to the future and all that it holds. I think having something to look forward to in life is the key to moving ahead with certainty and making each day the best you possibly can. Right now my “something to look forward to” just happens to be an extremely life changing event. I’m not naive to the fact that there are a lot of tough challenges ahead, just as there has been in the past – I am just choosing optimism and prioritizing what I want to focus on.

“Optimism is the most important human trait, because it allows us to evolve our ideas, to improve our situation, and to hope for a better tomorrow.” ~ Seth Godin

Being optimistic and hopeful for the future can be something as small as treating yourself to Starbucks on a rough Monday morning, or after a tough workout, or planning that vacation that you just can’t wait for. I’ll share both some small and large milestones that I’m excited for and if you’re feeling the winter blues, or “blah” in your daily routine, it’s time to reflect on your own milestones and future. What are you optimistic about for tomorrow, next week, or even next year? What can you focus on to take on each day with positivity? All of our futures are bright, we just have to find what inspires us to move forward.

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Meeting our Son & Seeing the Joy he will bring to our Loved Ones

Not only will this be super monumental for Craig and I – but I am just as excited for our families and friends to see and meet him. I didn’t realize how excited everyone gets about babies until we had one on the way. Never again will it just be the two of us – we will be going everywhere as a family. Here is a photo of a very excited set of grandparents:

Those Post-Workout Endorphins 

After working out or exercising almost every day for 20 years and then suddenly becoming limited in what I can do physically (for the past 4 months), I’ve definitely had the urge for that post-working feeling. You know what I’m talking about – feeling healthy and good about yourself leads to so much productivity in so many other areas of your life. I can’t wait to run, do jump squats, or bicycles – I also can’t wait to post some of the past workouts I’ve created, the new workouts I’ll be creating, and to stop talking about McDonalds & Cookies 🙂

 

*PS- does carrying a baby in my belly give me unlimited approval of selfies? Cuz I’ve been doing way too much of it lately*

A Nice Glass of Merlot 

I feel like this is pretty self-explanatory. I really just want to enjoy a large glass of red wine, even if it is from my couch in comfies, while watching Netflix.

 

Visits from Friends & Family

Many of my friends and family have not made it out to the East Coast for a visit just yet, but there are several scheduled for this spring and I just can’t wait. I don’t even care if they’re just coming to see Baby C…what a way to lure them in.

Professional Growth

This one is super on-going and likely won’t be a huge focus again until May. I’m just really feeling like I’ve been given great opportunities in my professional career to date – I enjoy my company, my co-workers, my team, leading them, and seeing all of us grow together. For every ounce of professional growth I’ve experienced, I have felt the personal growth, ten fold. Receiving great opportunities into your life takes commitment, sacrifice, and a lot of hard work…they do not happen by chance.

Family Travels

We have several trips planned for the rest of this year and I can’t wait to experience them as a family. I know that traveling with a baby is going to be much different, but I’m willing to learn how to do this best through on-going experience.

   The Growth of “Kayla Marie”

Putting myself out there and writing is all very new to me – and blogging has a much higher learning curve than one would think. I’m excited to grow this site, my personal brand, take part in some brand and individual collaborations, and give my readers some entertainment & inspiration from time to time. I’m not going to lie, the 4 adjectives that describe my blog have been constantly changing as I am continually discovering what this blog will actually become.

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 I encourage you to think about, get a notebook, and then physically write down what you may be looking toward, working toward, or moving toward in either the near or far future in your life. What keeps you going? I’m really interested to see what you all have planned for the upcoming year – comment below and let me know!

Love you all!

❤ Kayla

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