No Plus One: What to Do When Life Isn’t a Romantic Comedy

blogAfter repeatedly missing the mark, I realized that a simple fairy tale formula seemed about as realistic as, well, a fairy tale. Perhaps there was more to life than finding “The One.” It dawned on me that while I was pining away for a partner and beating myself up for being single, I was missing out on another life right in front of me – a single life full of autonomy, self-discovery, adventure and indulgence. 

I began to look at life differently and saw that the ingredients to living a fantastic single life were there all along. I scooped these up and assembled them into the nine fundamental lessons for living life fully as a single woman. These stories and lessons allowed me to start looking at my single life with a renewed sense of excitement. 

This lovely little book is a great combination of personal stories/experiences and friendly, helpful advice. It is written in a very relatable and straightforward way that makes it an easy read, and one that feels like a conversation with a good friend. A friend that is sharing encouraging and empowering advice. Through stories of various experiences and lessons learned, the authors provide points on what should be taken away from each chapter, all of which end with a list of suggestions/exercises one can do in order to apply these lessons to their life. This is a really nice read that provides helpful advice on living a great single life and being confident in your own skin. Highly recommended. 🙂

Overcoming the Dreaded Reading Slump

img_3185“If I’m in a slump, I ask myself for advice.” – Ichiro Suzuki

Oh the dreaded reading slump. You can feel it coming on as the usual rush to pick up a book starts to fade and a cozy evening with a new read doesn’t hold the same appeal. The mind wanders and a favourite pastime begins to feel like a chore. For me a slump usually happens when I have been reading a lot and need a breather, or after a string of disappointing reads when the motivation to pick up another book is just not there. Some reading slumps are longer than others and usually it is just a matter of time before the nose is back in a book. Over the years I have found what works for me and what doesn’t, and grabbing as many books as I can and hoping something will stick definitely doesn’t. So when I feel a reading slump coming on, or I am fully in the midst of one, I follow three little steps:

1. Step away from the book.
Put the book down and walk away. If it feels like a break is needed then take one. Trying to get though a book or struggling to find one that will spark your interest is just frustrating, and makes it even more difficult to get back in the swing of things. Doing anything with a tired and disheartened mindset will impact your overall experience. 

2. Set a time limit.
I like to set a certain time limit for a book break. This is because if I leave it too open-ended I tend to put things off and may not set aside time in my day for reading. Falling into the “I’m too busy, I’ll make time tomorrow” routine is far too easy, and that is when time really gets away from me. The length of a book break depends on how I feel and may be a few days or a couple of weeks.

3. Read something light and fun.
Once the book break is up, I choose a nice, light read to relax with. Anything that is too heavy and complicated may have you taking the bus back to slump city, so a fun read is the way to go. I usually go for fantasy, mystery, young adult, or “chick lit” (I absolutely despise this term, but could not find an alternative. If you are aware of one, please let me know).

Books from my bookshelf I would recommend:
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Re-read an old favourite.
Or, instead of something new, you can always re-read an old favourite. We all have those special books in our lives that never fail to bring us joy (I’m looking at you Harry Potter!).

Hope this helps the next time a reading slump rolls around. 🙂

Happy reading!

Louder Than Words by Todd Henry

BLOG“Your work tells tales. It speaks about you, your values, your hopes, your ambitions, and ultimately what you deem worthy of your energy and attention.”

The world seems to be filled with a lot of noise, with numerous people, organizations, products vying for attention.  So how does one stand apart from the noise and makes oneself heard?  Author Todd Henry believes it is finding your unique and authentic voice, which will enable you to reach a wide audience and convey your message.  In his book Louder Than Words: Harness the Power of Your Authentic Voice, he outlines the steps to finding your unique expression.

In developing our authentic voice and not conforming or playing it safe, we are able to get our message across and reach a larger audience.  The points and strategies discussed in Louder Than Words are well presented and organized.  The questions we must ask ourselves are regarding our identity (who are you?), our vision (where are you going?), and the mastery of our craft/expression (how will you get there?). The author also talks about the things that hold us back such as fear, our narrative, personalizing rejection, and setbacks that we face.  All points, strategies, and exercises are accompanied by helpful stories and examples.  Louder Than Words is an excellent resource for individuals and companies/organizations who are looking to find and develop their own unique voice.

Note: You can find chapter summaries and additional resources for Louder Than Words on the author’s website.

Favourite quote: “You have to let go of your fear of what you think you must be so that you can embrace the possibility of what you might be. It is deeply ingrained in the human condition to simultaneously crave recognition and camouflage. We want our unique abilities to show, but deep down we fear that we’re really not so great. These two forces battle within us, and then paralyze us. As a result, we show enough of ourselves to differentiate us from the competition, but not so much as to isolate us. We follow the heard when it’s expedient, but shun them when the stakes are low.”

Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht

BLOG“Life is too short to settle. You have the power to create your own path to success.”

Aliza Licht is a global fashion communications executive and the voice of the popular DKNY PR GIRL Twitter feed.  She uses her platform to mentor and provide career advice.  With Leave Your Mark she draws on personal experiences to provide guidance and inspiration to those embarking on a new career or looking to advance in their current role.

Leave Your Mark is a must-read for anyone going through a career transition, is stuck in a rut, or is just not sure about the next step and in need of inspiration and motivation.  It is smart, clear, concise and demonstrates that you can make a positive change for yourself. The book is split into four parts and gives advice on: Landing Your Dream Job, Killing It in Your Career, Rocking Social Media, and Creating the Brand of You.  It combines personal stories and experiences with clear-cut advice and tips.  While the stories and examples provided are fashion world related, the advice itself is not industry specific and is applicable to whichever career path you may be interested in.  Leave Your Mark acts as an invaluable guide and mentor.

Favourite quote(s): “INSIDER TIP: Forget the long-term career goal.  Nail what is in front of you and your next step will become clear.”

“People who tell you how they mapped out their five-year plan are full of it.  You can’t know.  I’m sorry, you just can’t.  It’s not a plan, it’s a decision.  Sometimes you make good ones and other times you don’t.  But the point is you’re always the one choosing the direction.”