How Does Your Garden Grow?

Happy Monday! This Motivation Monday is dedicated to anyone who feels like they are falling behind, can’t keep up, or feels like they are struggling while everyone else is all sunshine and roses. I am here to tell you, the grass isn’t always greener — often it’s not.

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It’s really easy to feel like you have to work twice as hard as others for the same results. It can also be easy to feel like your accomplishments are celebrated with a whisper while other’s are trumpeted with resounding excitement. I think everyone wants love, support, and achievement in their lives and I think it takes a lot of hard work to earn those things. So, if you don’t have those and are giving it your all, while others have it made in the shade with half of the effort, just know their grass isn’t necessarily greener. It could be fake.

It’s really easy to be the center of attention, can-do-no-wrong champ when you put 100% of your effort into maintaining that. At the end of they day, it’s exhausting and it isn’t real. The real grass…it’s imperfect, patchy, maybe it looks like it’s been tilled, but guess what? That’s your investment and that’s where you’ll see the most flowers grow. Flowers are better than boring patches of grass anyways.

Happy Monday! xox

Here’s A Freebie For Your Monday!

I know it’s not Freebie Friday, but I needed to share this…mostly because everyone needs a pick-me-up on a Monday. The past week has felt kind of like a game of dodgeball, except I am on a team of 2 (my husband is my favorite teammate) vs 10 and the balls are hiccups in plans, passive aggressiveness, and exhausting amounts of work.

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This week, I need to be incredibly focused. I have a potentially life changing opportunity that I have to be fully prepared for and I can do without curve balls, comments from the peanut gallery, and probably just Facebook all together. It gets super negative, super fast, especially if you are reading political articles.

So, as I prepared for this week I decided to create some Monday Motivation after listening to my second favorite JEW album. I mean, if it’s good enough for Taylor Swift, it’s good enough for us all right?

Click here to open and save/print the poster. Hang it next to your vanity because you do everything you can…and don’t you worry what the bitter hearts are gonna say. ❤

Click to Download

The Best Way To De-Stress!

May every joy be yoursthis Holiday SeasonHere’s the thing, even on a bad day I can handle a lot, I think we all can. However, the past few weeks have really challenged my emotional resolve and stress levels. I had a major fundraising event, I worked at least 10-12 hour days for a week and a half–solid, my husband went to the doctor for some pretty scary stuff (hopefully he’s fine) and my father, who I am pretty much estranged from (for good reason), sent my sister a letter explaining he was going to cut ties from all of my sisters and I and he was making grave threats about taking his own life.

Now, having a toxic parent is a challenge and having a toxic parent with a personality and mental disorder is even more of a challenge. Even more challenging beyond that is having people in your life who throw around terms like, “sociopath”, “crazy”, and “narcissist” as pejoratives, when most people have no idea what experiencing someone like that is really like. I speak candidly about this because I feel like there is a lot of ignorance, sometimes cruel, purposeful ignorance, that surrounds mental health issues, which is weird because so many people deal with them.

Needless to say, I’ve been stressed beyond belief and one of the things that helps me manage is yoga and meditation. In fact, as soon as it’s a little bit nicer out I plan on creating an outdoor yoga space in my back yard. There’s something about deep breathing, exercise, and listening to your body that completely melts stress—so if you’re feeling stressed out, I highly suggest one of these 3 sequences to help:

1) Breathing and Meditation: I fully believe in the benefits on mindful thinking and meditation. I even have a relaxation/breathing app on my phone. I’ve even taken 5 minutes at my work desk to go through this routine and it always helps when I need to de-stress. If you have a stressful job, this is a must if you have an office door you can close and spend 5 minutes by yourself.download

2) These yoga poses help alleviate stress and are actually good for beginners. You don’t even necessarily have to have a mat for these—and if you don’t have a yoga block, you can always use a hard pillow or a puppy dog (jk—don’t use a puppy dog). 🙂

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3) I can’t recommend this video enough, I love this sequence—especially before bed. I don’t know about you, but when I am stressed out, I can’t sleep. My Fitbit says I do 4 hours of sleep at best when I am really stressed. Instead of going to bed with a million racing thoughts and a heartbeat that is jumping out of my chest, I am relaxed, stretched out, and ready for sleep after this sequence.

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What about you, what are your favorite yoga poses?

Anything Could Happen on a Monday

Because who doesn’t need some motivation and music to tackle a Monday? I certainly do…because it’s going to be 6 straight days of 10-12 hour work days.

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I’ve listened to all of these songs at some point in time in the last month, which has been a rollercoaster—from infuriating to amazing and back again. However, music is a cure-all right?

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  1. Anything Could Happen – Ellie Goulding
  2. Ophelia – The Lumineers
  3. Rivers and Roads – The Head and the Heart
  4. Home – Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros
  5. Rolodex Propaganda – At the Drive In
  6. The Outsider – A Perfect Circle
  7. Tongue Tied – Grouplove
  8. Upside Down and Inside Out – OK Go
  9. Slow Hands – Interpol
  10. Holiday From Real – Jack’s Mannequin

Also…a little Monday Motivation never hurts, so here’s something to chew on…

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I love this mostly because, C.S. Lewis–and the sentiment is 100% true. All the terrible days, situations, things said about you, cruel chatter, cruel people, superficiality. All the stressful projects, family…everything; leave it behind…dump it.

Be a one man army if you have to…and march on to way better things because they are there. Just keep being you, do generous things, shrug off the BS, show gratitude, give love, and you’ll find that the people and situations that were marching all over you, can’t keep up with YOU anymore because they are far in the distance. Leave the rest to karma and look ahead.

I’m really lucky I have a lot of things that give me a reason to look ahead…and it’s just going to be me and my little wolfpack family. ❤

Happy Monday!

 

 

Gift Giving & Get Wells: For Friends Going Through Chemo

I love gift giving. Well, scratch that…I love being thoughtful and making people happy—it’s really not about the gift at all. That being said, I hope no one ever has to give a gift like this, ever.

If you told me that by the time I was 30 I would know 3 people (who are younger than me) who were diagnosed with breast cancer, I would tell you that you were crazy. I guess I’m the crazy one

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Turns out I wasn’t crazy about this, it’s too sweet. Fever Tree is much better!

I just went to grab some bubble tea and chat with one of my friends who has breast cancer. She’s in amazing spirits and keeps close tabs of her journey on Facebook, so I know how she’s doing even though I don’t see her everyday (we used to work together). I snagged some ginger sodas at a local store and immediately thought of my friend and her severe nausea. She was very appreciative for the soda and we got to chatting about how she was feeling. I immediately thought of a couple of nice things that could be made into a gift basket to help with the things she was dealing with. Anything to brighten someone’s day, right?

 

So again, I hope you never, ever have to put something like this together, but if you do…here are some suggestions:

For Your Freinds Going Through Chemo

Ginger Lollipops – This is a great gift that naturally helps alleviate nausea. Quite a few of my friends who have been through chemo say hard candy is a gem. Bonus: these are organic and if you over-purchase they are always handy for a pregnant friend or anyone in your house with a tummy ache. Caramelized Ginger Lollipops via PopOrganic.

Aloe Infused Socks – Hospitals can be drafty and when you are receiving chemo you want to be comfy! Additionally, many rounds of chemo can dry your skin out. Dry, cracking feet sound painful to me—so why not skip it! Winter Aloe Infused socks from Bath and Bodyworks.

Games For Two – Hopefully, whether it’s you, a family member, or a friend, someone is there to hang out during chemo. It’s a long process and passing the time with fun things is better than sitting there. Again, depending on the medications applied in addition to chemo (steroids and allergy meds to name a few), games might be out and restful quiet moments might be in, but it really just depends on the person. Also, who doesn’t love Uno!? Find Uno and more two-person games on Amazon.

Lotion – It’s winter and that means dry skin as it is, but chemo adds to this. When I was at lunch the other day my friend’s hands were so dry and she was wanting some lotion stat! I really recommend Philosophy’s Amazing Grace because it’s mildly fragrant without being overwhelming, strong scents are no good for anyone with a weak stomach. Also, I just love Philosophy’s skin care products. I highly recommend them! Find anything Philosophy at your local Sephora or sephora.com.

Aloe – After a coworker of mine went through chemo and radiation, she told me that her skin actually burned. I usually have lotion with aloe at work, but didn’t this particular time. Needless to say, this is always a good option to throw in there. Try to purchase 100% aloe vera and while you’re out snag some aloe juice. It’s delicious and wonderful for you! You can purchase aloe at any local hodgepodge store. 

Last, but not least and most importantly…

Yourself! – Think about how you would feel if you were faced with a scary diagnosis. Now magnify it by 100, because you really have no idea unless you’ve been through it. I, for one, would totally loose my sh*t. I would need my friends and family to be there to be positive and occupy my time with really happy things, because thinking about the alternative isn’t an option. Don’t be afraid, offer to go to chemo, play games, compliment your friend on the perfect shape of her bald, beautiful head.

Most importantly, don’t make it about yourself and don’t let it scare you away. People feel awkward about emotions and need to talk things out. Understandable, but don’t talk to your friend about how you need to do a better job remembering your monthly breast exam, about how you need to make a gyno appointment immediately, or tell them about the one time you found what you thought was a lump, but it tuned out to be nothing. That is making their diagnosis about YOU…and let’s face it, we live in a world where we’re all a little too focused on ourselves anyways. I know a few people like this, entirely focused on how things effect them and just generally self-important and really good at making everything about them. It’s all I can do to grin and bare being around them without wanting to scream, so imagine how someone who is battling cancer feels! 

So, turn on the cheesiest music you can find and moonwalk past your friend’s office, start a countdown to their last chemo appointment, hide Hershey kisses in their office/room, anything to make someone’s day a little brighter—and yes, I have done all of these things listed above. Worth the embarrassment of everyone in my office seeing my horrible dance moves? Totally. ❤

Also, if your friend is facing a difficult diagnosis, it is always a great idea to learn more about it. This by no means makes you an expert and you should not be giving advice, but just understanding what someone is up against, no matter how scary, is always a good idea!

 

 

 

Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice…

When I was a little girl my mom drilled it into my head that I was never allowed to use the fact that I was a girl as an excuse. There was no excuse–why of course, I should be one of the only girls in the advanced math class, learning to ice skate with hockey skates? no problem, earning one of my high school’s only scholar-athlete scholarships–absolutely—why does it have to go to a boy?

This explains why I spend the majority of high school with bruised legs (I played a lot of soccer), studying like failing was never an option, and the amount of guys in my college classes never intimidated me. It turns out businesses degrees aren’t exclusively for men after all! Both my sister and I have one!

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Little Miss Copeland Busting a Move!

My mom was one of the only female corporate lawyers at her company in the 80’s…which was a big deal. It was an even bigger deal that she beat out a lot of guys in her law school to grab the top spot in her graduating class. Even with all of her amazing credentials, she’s still had to deal with hurtles—as most girls and women do.

It stings to work so hard to know your male counterparts make more money, or when you’re in high school and the football team gets new uniforms even though your soccer team has an exponentially better record from season to season. At the end of the day, I think the best thing we can do for our friends, daughters, students, and little girls everywhere is to empower them to be strong, capable women—because smart capable women are a force to be reckoned with.

So moms, mentors, teachers, and friends, I encourage you to share this video with your daughters. If young girls know their potential is limitless, there is no reason they can’t be wildly successful and this video demonstrates that. Plus, I loves me some women in STEM, H-dog, the Notorious RBG, and my entire women’s world cup team!

 

When young girls participate in behaviors like gossiping, name calling, etc., that means they have negative energy that could be better spent on positive things and feeds into a stereotype that translates into adulthood. I know girls my age and younger (and sometimes older) who think they are grown and “accomplished”, but their attitude and their affinity to be snarky and make other people feel small proves otherwise. Imagine what could happen if girls and women stopped with the negative energy and replaced it with achieving goals while smashing negative stereotypes.

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The more we encourage young girls and women to break glass ceilings while busting stereotypes, the more our culture will have to change to accommodate things like equal pay, representation in STEM jobs, and much–much more! Let’s teach our daughters they can do anything, from running the country to becoming the first African American principal ballerina! It’s been a long time coming for so many of these things!

 

 

Are You Killing It On The Job? How To Measure Your Success!

How to kill it on the jobLet me begin with a short disclaimer: I love my job. It’s stressful and I work entirely more than a 40 hour work week (for example, I have an event this weekend—so I will probably work close to 50 hours this week), but I love it. I also work at a non-profit with about 50 employees, which may be the opposite of some people’s work situations. However, I do believe all this advice still applies.

Since I graduated college I’ve had quite a few jobs. This has mostly been due to the fact that I have moved quite a bit, even for someone in their 20s. Even with all the jumping around on my resume, I have never not received a job offer at a place where I have interviewed, I have never received a negative performance review, and my career history shows growth instead of stagnant state or decline—in fact, my current boss has recommended that I get a promotion above what I was expecting. I’ve done everything from teach children to fundraising, but now I am more than happy with my position that is mostly in marketing (probably because that was my major in school).

e1ce5667c0372684e8ca09b57d5bbeb2I find that the better I actually do at my job, the more my coworkers appreciate me and the more I like going to work! It’s kind of a no brainer. Here are a few things you can do to put you in the best position you can be to feel confident in your work and for your peers to feel confident in you:

  1. Have one-on-one face time with your boss at least once a week. This isn’t hard for me because my boss and I share an office, but it can be more difficult for people who work in a large office where people mainly communicate through email. You don’t need a formal meeting, you don’t need to be brown-nosing, just make some time to talk to your boss about projects you’re enjoying, things on the schedule, or (if your plate isn’t full) ask if there is anything additional you can add to your calendar to help with.
  2. Go above and beyond. This goes without saying, but some people need to hear it. If you care about your job, it doesn’t always stop at 5:00 p.m. at the office. Projects happen, things pop up last-minute, deadlines are always there. There are some nights I stay late and there are some nights I work from home so I can tackle all of the things I have to do. Should you be working like this every night of every week? No…however it pays to finish projects early, polish proposals, and put extra time into things, trust me. If you are lucky enough to work strict shifts where you clock in and out, there’s no harm in asking the next shift if they need anything before you go and consider yourself lucky that you aren’t staying late nights for extra work because you’re salaried!
  3. d5fcd4e61b48a3128220d2597ef645fbHelp your coworkers, but be wise about it. Helping your coworkers shows that you are a team player, but it can be a double-edged sword and this is a thing I actually struggle with. If someone is incompetent and cannot do their job, no amount of you helping can ever fix that issue—you will just end up doing your job and theirs as well. How does that look to a manager? Not good. However, you can be a go-to, there’s some in every office. There are people I go to for extra proof reading and everyone comes to me when they have questions about fixing code, adjusting graphics, writing, and basically anything with a computer. In the past, I have just done things for people because I know I can get it done faster and better than they necessarily could, however, this is a disservice to me and the coworker at hand. Help appropriately and your coworkers will trust you and it solidifies you as a team.
  4. Keep cultivating, always. There are so many great resources everywhere, use them. I have found free webinars, blogs, survey’s, etc. about social media marketing, non-profit marketing, web design, the list goes on. If I keep up-to-date with trends, best practices, and continue learning I will always be on the top of my game. Most of the time, my boss is entirely happy to let me take webinars at work, but most of the things I do to stay on top of my game are at home. It’s empowering to know what you’re talking about—so put the time in effort in, you won’t be sorry.
  5. Did you make a mistake? Own it! Everyone makes mistakes, everyone. I have a reoccurring nightmare that I send an email out to 8,000 people with a subject like that includes the word “f*ck” instead of “duck”. This has never happened and it won’t because I have eagle eyes look at every digital marketing piece I sent out, but it’s always a concern. I have managed people and people have managed me, we all agree that one of our biggest pet peeves is when you don’t own your mistakes. Own it, apologize, drop what you’re doing to correct it, and move on!

5ac07e93026e787773f8f1fffc34ab4aSo how can you tell if you are succeeding—or at least well on your way? Well let’s start here:

  1. If you have a college degree, are you doing a job that requires a degree? If so, you’re better off than a lot of people (unless we’re talking about a job that requires specialized training like a trade school, graphic design, military, etc). A lot of college grads with degrees aren’t even doing a job that requires a college diploma, rather a high school diploma with experience in a certain area. Check your job requirements, if yours requires a degree (in any subject) and you have one—congrats! Not only are you using your degree, you are already more successful (on paper) than some of your peers.
  2. You need to be working full-time—and you are! After the recession, the job force came back in a half-step. There are a lot more part-time jobs for professionals than before, especially at smaller businesses—which are the backbone of the economy if you haven’t heard. I started off as a part-time employee because I wanted to have kids right after I got married, but I got the offer to move into a full-time position and I snagged it. I am looking forward to having kids, but I can’t imagine not working full-time. So if you are salaried or are working full-time and you need/want to be, pat yourself on the back!
  3. Do you like going to work? If Mondays don’t turn you into a complete troll, then you probably don’t hate your job and that’s a great thing. Liking your job does wonders for your quality of life because you spend so much time working!
  4. Listen to dropped hints. Of course, a performance review will tell you how well you’re doing, but if you need a more day-to-day measurement, pay attention to feedback and what you are asked to do. If you are asked to work on projects you’ve never worked on before, your boss tells you that she loves a blog you posted, or your peers ask your opinion or help with a project. This means people trust you and your capabilities—you’re on your way. Killing it!