{Love the Life You Have} Create Personal Style

self confidence

aka: Chose the Funky Glasses. Sponsored by Lookmatic

When I was nearing the end of high school, I was asked what I wanted to do when I graduated so they could add my plans to the video they were going to play when we walked across the stage to accept our diplomas. I had two directions I considered for my career. One was in fashion, the other in home decorating. I loved both. Fashion made ME feel fancy, and houses made me happy. Both were a way to be creative, fun and express myself in personal style.

Fortunately for the fashion blogging world, home decorating won out in the end. In hindsight, fashion was a lot more fun for me when I was 18 years old, wore a size two and had approval to use my mom’s Nordstrom card to make myself look cute every day. What I was going to wear was pretty much all I had to worry about back then.

As life marched on I’ve dealt with more pressing stressful issues like working and taxes,  kids and dogs, mortgage payments and health insurance. What shoes went with which outfit became the least of my daily worries. Many days I was just lucky to find two shoes that matched each other, let alone ones that matched the outfit.

lookmatic glasses the inspired room

It wasn’t like I didn’t care or want to look decent, but fashion became more of a necessity than fun — clothes were often the only way to camouflage the latest unfortunate bulge. Where I used to think more about what was “in style” or what would show off my figure, I am now more inclined to consider what could possibly (impossibly?) cover all the figure flaws. You know? I’m a blogger and bloggers readily admit blogging makes you, well, wider.

Funny though, even at 18 years old and when I was a size two, I thought of myself as a little chubby. I was self-conscious back then, for no reason! GRRR! Where was my self-confidence when I should have had it?

If only we could be as chubby as we used to think we were, right?

IMG_7830

Getting older seems to be an eye-opening experience.

My latest literal eye-opening realization is that I need eye glasses. For real.

While most of the youngish bloggers are out there buying themselves nerdy glasses these days to look trendy and hip in their blog photos, I’m actually wearing my new trendy nerdy glasses so I can SEE to blog.

Have mercy. Honestly though, there is more to it than wanting to see better. I do want to have fun and take a few risks with personal style and build self-confidence with who I am at this stage of my life.

One thing I am always learning is that whatever age you are and no matter what is going on in your life, it is important to take time for yourself, to get yourself and your house dressed in a way that makes you feel happy, refreshed and alive! It is easy to let one or the other go at various times in life, yet both our homes and our express an important side of ourselves we need to hang on to.

Just as creating a style and way of life in our house is so important to how we live, who we are when we walk out our front door is a significant part of how we see ourselves. Who are we when we leave the kids for a night with our hubby or go out to lunch with friends or head out for a weekend conference?

Do we have enough self-confidence to actually forget about ourselves, or do we spend more time worrying about our flaws than caring about the people we meet? If we focus too much on our imperfections, maybe we haven’t given enough time to ourselves to be at our best or most confident selves. Maybe we need more rest, more personal time to get our haircut or do our nails or shop for clothes that make us feel better about ourselves.

We may not be 18 any more (and if you are still 18, enjoy every minute of that youthful self!), but we can fully embrace the season of being 30 or 40 or 50 or beyond and find a style that works for us.

take time for yourself

I’m not talking about spending lots of money or becoming overly obsessed with how you look, what clothes you wear or what you decorate your house with. But I am talking about making yourself and your home more than just “presentable.” Maybe I’m suggesting having more fun with your style and finding more time to take care of yourself— without apology or hesitation.

You don’t have to go crazy and get your nose pierced (unless you want to, of course), but maybe just step things up a little bit from what you are used to. I’m not a fashion expert by any stretch of the imagination so take my advice with a grain of salt, but I do think a fresh personal style is attainable for everyone who is brave enough to try new things and admit what they really love. You don’t have to know what is “in” or what all the fashion bloggers are wearing in order to have personal style!

For some of us, maybe we would start simply by putting on some makeup, fixing our hair and getting dressed every day in something cute, even if we are just staying home. I love yoga pants and sweatshirts as much as the next gal, but maybe try wearing a comfortable dress or a cute top, stylish jeans and boots, just to shake things up a bit around the house.

Invest in the little things that can make life more fun and even awaken your creativity and personality.

What if you chose the funky glasses instead of the sensible ones, or bought a coat in a shocking color that might not go with everything (gasp!), or wore a bright floral scarf or the striped shoes with the polka dot blouse (can you do that? why not?)? Do things just because YOU CAN! Don’t ask or worry about what other people think, unless you are asking a trusted friend. Wear what makes you feel like YOU, and what makes you LIKE yourself.

organize your purse

Take time for yourself!

What if you set your to do list aside for awhile and went for a walk all by yourself just to have time to breathe fresh air? What if you got a fun new haircut, or organized your purse with pretty patterned zip up bags that simply make you happy and feel more put together when you walk out the door?

Little things make such a big difference on how we feel!

Create a look for yourself that expresses who you want to be right now. Live the life you’ve always wanted to live, and design a home you actually love to be in, even if you are not in the perfect house. Those elements will all become part of your personal style.

There is always something about ourselves or our life to make us feel insecure, or a “glaring imperfection” that can rob us of our happiness and contentment with who we are and where we are right now. Things that make us want to hide behind the computer screen.

Those whispers in our ear that tell us things we used to be, love or want out of life are distant, not important, or just plain silly to even think about right now. We should be responsible adults, forget about ourselves and always choose the sensible shoes.

It is easy to let yourself, your house or your dreams go downhill or cause you to give up when the stress of life settle in, the bills pile up or you are considerably wider or older than you remember and you do a double take in the mirror wondering what the heck happened to your neck! But we can’t just hide away and wish things were different, we need to get out there and make things happen.

Sometimes life is frustrating or exhausting, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to make things around you beautiful in your own way. That is what true personal style is about. And young moms, don’t forget yourself along the way. I promise, your kids will benefit and thank you for treating yourself right!

Is there something small you could do this week to help you better love the life you have? Maybe something to inspire you to break out of your fashion frump or decorating slump, enliven your boring routine or awaken your creative side?

modern eye glasses the inspired room blogIn my quest to embrace my personal style, I am wearing funky new glasses from Lookmatic called the Holly glasses in black.  Lookmatic is an online sunglasses and prescription eyeglass boutique, with a large celebrity following. It was painless and actually fun to order online! I love how modern and quirky they are! I am so happy I took a risk.

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Comments

  1. At 50, I may not have the body or the carefree attitude I had at 18, but I am more “free to be me” and care less if others approve of my fashion and decor choices. Free to take a chance on things. Not a bad trade-in for the 18-year-old body (that was going to go, anyway!)

  2. Cheryl in Kansas says:

    Love this your blog….great topic today. So important to create your own style rather than just doing what is in style as that changes constantly! I also remember being “fat” weighing 100 lbs when I was in my twenties…oh to be fat again!!!! Love the glasses on you and always good to see Jack ( I follow his blog also)
    Have a great day…..

  3. This just couldn’t be any more true! I’m 49 turning 50 in June, I’m with you and Lori. I enjoy feeling more brave and worrying so much less about what others think. I do put on my make up, fix my hair, and try to look good every day. For me!

  4. Haha! Yeah! What is it with thinking we were chubby? Good grief….I’d love to be ‘chubby’ again!
    Love your photos and your style….are you sure you have daughters in college and beyond? You don’t look a day past 25. ;)
    You are Extraordinary!!
    Diane recently posted..Sing Songs of Joy! :: Joy Day!My Profile

  5. Love the look, Melissa. I’m usually “safe” in what I wear but this weekend threw on a thrift find of a denim jacket that had a very colorful, painterly look to it – not my usual style at all. I felt good in it and raised some eyebrows in my family. They just looked at first and then said, “Well you look good, Mom.” It was nice to be out of the norm.

  6. I must say those glasses look fabulous on you! I was just thinking about this the other day and hoping that my daughter will have more self-confidence than I did growing up. I was so slender and lean and had a great body as a teenager, but I didn’t think that I looked good at all. My Mom was very encouraging in every way possible, but I’d like to be even more encouraging with my own daughter so she knows that she is beautiful inside and out no matter what shape, size, whatever she is. Great thoughtful post!
    Holly recently posted..Big Girl Room UpdatesMy Profile

  7. Amen. : )

  8. Thanks, that was just what I needed to hear today :-)

    • Mary Gatto says:

      Me too!
      Melissa, I’ve been throu some rough paths lately (the last 1 & 1/2 year) and I need to do something new ASAP. To change some things may improve a lot indeed. I’m 31 and I need to reajust my views at some things (get a more mature point of view) and your post today was a nice incentive.
      Love your blog! (sorry if I made any mistakes, English isn’t my first language, I’m from Brazil)
      God bless

  9. I never bothered much with my size or shape when I was younger, it was my eyebrows. And my eyebrows are still my sore spot. But they’re MY eyebrows and nobody else has them. So I began accepting them AS IS. What a feeling of freedom! I just wish I can do the same with my white hair….
    MarieRoxanne recently posted..Mother Nature’s Cruel JokeMy Profile

  10. I’ve always been terribly myopic. My prescription is so strong the otpicians are always impressed I’m 100% correctable. I had these giant glasses back in middle school in the 80s. SO loathed them. I always loved my eyes, blue, which behing the thick lenses shrunk to 1/10 of their original size. I got contacts as soon as I could tolerate them, and only while in med school found contacts that worked for me. I always had glasses, but never really splurged on a gorgeous designer pair until recently, when I got my black framed micheal kohns. They aren’t big like the ones you have, since my lense is SO thick I have to stick with the smaller rectangularish shapes so the lense doesn’t end up at 1/2 inch thick on the periphery. I do love them, and often weat them instead of my contacts because I feel so good in them.

    When it comes down to it, I’m just grateful I live in a country where we can get corrective lenses. I’ve worked in plenty of third world locals, doing medical clinics, and the people with vision as bad as mine are the blind beggars lining the streets. So grateful.
    sarah recently posted..A Tidy Desk and A Clean SlateMy Profile

  11. Thanks for always having such meaningful, thought provoking posts. I start my morning with your blog & my cup of coffee and it’s become part of my morning ritual. Thanks so much for being part of my day!

  12. At 61 and looking to work into my 70’s (thanks to the recession that wiped us out) I am constantly trying to stay current with my appearance. Just cut my hair into a super short bob and bought new clothes and the hippest shoes I’ve had in years! We have to do this to keep our self esteem up in the aging process, keep our spouse’s interest, keep up at work and with our children and grandchildren. It’s like another full time job!! Thanks for the great advice!!

  13. Great post! So many things you wrote today sounded like thoughts in my own head. I did go into fashion after high school for a little bit but you wouldn’t know it by the way I have dressed the last 15 years. I fell into that mom mode, and now am trying to get back to me. Thanks for the inspiring words!
    Stacey recently posted..My Dream Hawaiian HomeMy Profile

  14. Age is relative is it not? How we feel about ourselves is all that matters even WITH reading glasses. Yeah, I have those, too.
    Lisa recently posted..Miguel’s Missionary MomentMy Profile

  15. Great advice! I’m only in my mid-twenties but I get the “needing” glasses part — I’ve become practically blind (not really but it feels like it) over the past four years. Love your funky frames, rock them!
    Allison recently posted..Sugar ‘n Spice VoxBoxMy Profile

  16. Gosh–this hits close to home! Such a great read! I’ve been a stay at home mom for 11+ years, and this is something I really need to focus on! It’s time for me to put the effort into making myself presentable…cute…healthy and fit so I can be the best version of me. Thank you!! Thank you!
    And I am SO excited about the glasses!! They’re SO reasonable!
    Have a lovely day!
    Jen

    • You are welcome and THANK YOU for your sweet comment. I hope you do find time for YOU! You deserve it, stay at home moms need time for themselves too!

  17. Surely, beauty is wasted on the young. When I look at old photos of myself when I was 20-30 years old it makes me sad to think that I never thought I was pretty enough. Or cute enough. Or thin enough. Geez, looking back, I was HOT! Just wish I would have liked myself then as much as I do now, full of bulges, lines and wrinkles, slightly cracked heals and gray hair to boot!

    • I love this. Almost makes me cry, and laugh to myself. I’m in my thirties and I already feel that I will look back one day and think the same. Thanks for this reminder to love ourselves, at every stage, in every season.

  18. Wow……you hit the nail on the head with this post! It truly is the little things that make a difference in our day in and day out regimen. I have to say that for me it is starting the day with fun bras and underwear. They always make me smile and feel special right from the start of the day. I am 45 and happen to work around fashion all day and love all the fun styles/colors out there, but I would go broke if I purchased all that I would really love to.
    I think your new glasses look great on you!!! Wear them with pride….that is what I say to myself because I can’t read the super small type they use at work these days :)

    • Thanks Lynn, haha, I shall indeed wear my new glasses with pride! And I love your advice about how to start out the day feeling special…such great advice!

  19. Goodness me!! This is just the right pick me up perk I need right now. Sitting here in my hoodie and jeans I threw on just to rush my kinder to class…thinking “what happened to the excited possibility of my burgeoning closet?!” It’s still there but my motivation is shot….post-baby, health challenges that continuously spike my efforts to “feel good about what I see when I look at me”, sleep deprivation. But I, too, Love fashion (more aptly style:) and home decorating. Love.
    And you have inspired me to get a new pair of specs. I have some cute, funky ones but they are getting up there in age and my eyes are squinting to see this right now. Glasses make this gal!

    What a great post…a permission of sorts, to get out there and live on the creative side. That’s my passion too…so off I go to spruce something up. Me and my turquoise nails , with the ring fingers offset in glittered polish. Yup, I recently made the “coolest mama of the month”, awarded by my five year old girlie:)

    Thanks again for the smile:)

    • Good for you, I hope you find some awesome new glasses and get re-inspired after the challenges that slowed you down. YES, go live on the creative side! Sounds like you are already well on your way!! :-)

  20. KATHYSUE says:

    Hi Melissa, I could not agree with you more on all counts!! It takes only a bit more time to put a little effort in how we look. I know when I am in my 80s I will think I want to look like I did in my 60s. It is all relative, but we must always be the best we can be at any age, not perfect but good!!
    Loved this post and love your new glasses.
    KATHYSUE recently posted..SIMPLE ELEGANCEMy Profile

  21. Melissa – this is one of your best posts ever!

    “If only we could be as chubby as we used to think we were, right?” RIGHT!!!

    Thanks for the wisdom. :)

  22. Love the glasses and the thoughts. I think we all want those things that you mention, but time and money elude young and older women (myself) these days. Paying for diapers, then preschool, sports activities and now college, I still have trouble spending the money. Though now…I have begun to take ‘time’ for myself, hiking, reading, or just finally cleaning the storage room. It is a struggle to put ourselves first.

  23. What a GREAT topic! Being a bit over 60, I tend to struggle with how to not be stuck in rut fashion and design wise yet not toss out the things/styles I really love. And what are the important underlying reasons for even caring. What an encouragement you are!

    I read a very interesting article on Houzz, maybe you saw it. The couple built their house in 1964 and still live there but it is definitely updated and fresh (mostly DIY, too).
    Barbara (WA) recently posted..The $500 t.p. holderMy Profile

  24. PS: I was NEVER a size two even at 5′ 1.5″ :)
    Barbara (WA) recently posted..The $500 t.p. holderMy Profile

  25. Wow! What a great post. I love your blog anyway…but what an inspiring post today! Thank you! PS LOVE the glasses!

  26. I LOVE this post – yes, blogging definitely makes me wider, I’ve worn glasses since I was 6 ….. but recently had to get VARI-focals!!!

    I WISH I was as chubby as I used to think I was!!!

    I don’t have huge self-confidence, and now I have teen daughters, I don’t want to pass my lack of self-confidence on to them!

    I used to worry a lot more about what others thought of me – now I realise they probably never even thought of me at all!

    However, I do wish that I could be more confident in my expanding/chubbier skin!
    Janmary, N Ireland recently posted..Memories of Boston and Praying for BostonMy Profile

  27. Melissa, I love this post!! I agree with everything your wrote. I’m 35 and have been a stay at home for the past 13 years. I make a point to dress cute, do my hair and make-up and wear jewellery everyday. It makes me feel better about me! There’s a few of those moms stuck in the mommy fashion runt my daughter’s school. I just want to shake them and tell them to take care of themselves! It’s amazing what a difference getting yourself put together for the day does for your self esteem. I actually do a fashion post on Friday’s with inspiration outfits to show it doesn’t take much effort to look cute. (I haven’t posted in months. I really need to get back at it!) And for the record, I think I look way better now than when I was in high school! Apparently I was a late bloomer. haha

    Anyway, thanks for sharing today. I know it’s kind of scary when you do a personal post, but we readers love them! Have a great week!

    ~ Catie
    Catie recently posted..Frivolous Fashion Friday – Edition 34My Profile

    • Awesome, I’ll have to check out your fashion posts. It is so true, it is hard to accept ourselves as we are if we haven’t put our best face or foot forward. Once we DO make an effort to treat ourselves right and play up our best features to look as cute as we can within our own limitations (and it doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive), then we can more easily embrace who we are, beautifully flawed but lovely all the same. And we can get our focus off of ourselves and encourage someone else. You have a great week, too! Thanks for stopping by with such a nice comment!

  28. I love those holly glasses! i remember how shocked i was the first time i realized your actual age and that you had older kids too..you look soo young.

    ive been thinking about personal style a lot lately too…i really struggle with my weight but i still love cute clothes,,i go through seasons of putting in an effort and then seasons of not caring as much. But you can look pulled together no matter size or shape or budget and it can be fun even if you arent a size 2!!

    • Hi Holly :-) I agree, we can pull ourselves together no matter what size or budget we have and it can be fun! I struggle with my shape and wish wish wish I could trade a few parts of me in on an improved model, but it’s what I’ve got! :-) Also? I’m short and that has its challenges! Gah! I’m trying to let go of those insecurities about myself and do the best I can to pull myself together and have fun doing it! xo
      Melissa recently posted..10 Favorite Bins & Baskets {Gather}My Profile

  29. Melissa, you are absolutely gorgeous! I love this post today…you are so right on! I have me some new funky glasses on order, actually they’ve been on back order for two months!!! Yours look great. Thanks for all your inspiration, I look forward to your posts every day!

  30. i think you are really still 18! where are the wrinkles and crows’ feet :) you look absolutely beautiful and are so talented, confident & kind to boot. a lovely role model for we former eighteen year olds.

  31. Love this post ! One of my favs ever – you said it just right !

  32. Yes! Yes! Yes!

    I’ve *ALWAYS* been a “thick” girl, and was content to try to hide beneath schlubby clothes… after our 2 children were born, I found myself in stretched out t-shirts and ill-fitting denim capris all too often, so I set out to do something about it. I still struggle with my weight, but regardless of what the scale says that day I make an effort to pull together an OUTFIT. I started small: I didn’t leave the house without at least 1 accessory (earrings, scarf, whatever!) I looked at photos in magazines, checked out a couple books from the library, and watched episodes of What Not to Wear. I purged my wardrobe, and started paying attention to color and fit. Over 90% of my wardrobe comes from the Thrift Ship, Target & Kohl’s (only when I have a 30% off coupon, though!). When I shop, I have a list of things I’m looking for, and I make sure I have enough time to actually try them on. I now have a Pinterest board just for looks I love – my body might be different, but I pay attention to details: a long necklace layered over a boatneck, belting a cardigan over a tank, the way a scarf is tied, etc. It still catches me off guard when people pay me a compliment, but it’s happening more and more frequently — plus I know my husband really appreciates the upgraded look.

    Yes, style matters – whether we like it or not, our look is what people will initially judge us by, and I’d rather be giving myself a head start rather than creating an obstacle that I’ll need to overcome.
    Trish D recently posted..I’ll take a few boring days, pleaseMy Profile

    • What great ideas Trish! When I went back to work recently I was clueless about what to buy and just kind of winged it. I’m going to use some of your tips to start getting some more fashion ideas. And you are right, alot of time it’s in the details. YAY you! :)

  33. You look amazing and those glasses are fabulous! This post was SO timely for me. I recently started back to work after being a SAHM for 9 years…living in jeans, yoga pants and converse. I had zero idea what ladies were wearing to the office these days. But I sure had a great time shopping (especially since I have recently lost 20 lbs) and started my new job last week with 4 new pair of shoes (unfortunately I can’t wear the heels I used to though!) a bunch of new clothes, a new haircut and freshly shaped brows and nails. Thank you hubby! And it felt SO GOOD to be focusing on ME for a change. And I feel amazing and “with it”. LOL. Now I just need to figure out how to balance everything when I was used to so much more time to get all my “mom stuff” done. Even though my job is only 30 hrs a week, it’s still everyday and I can tell it’s going to take me a while to get in a groove. Thank you for such a wonderfully inspiring blog that I look forward to daily. :)

  34. This was just what I needed tonight. :) I feel like I am just waking up from the fog of the last 9 months and need to do something to help me perk up my look and give me a fresh burst of confidence. I love your glasses! They are so much fun! Reading your article confirmed for me that it is time to get a fun new haircut. Now to figure out what to do with it! LOL But this made me smile. I am working on making our home into a place that makes me happy to be instead of stressed because of what still needs to be done. Time to enjoy the process. And time to start finding some spring clothes that make me smile while still be comfortable. Thanks for the encouragement tonight. I love my time here. Great post!
    Mary Joy recently posted..Giving thanks for a week of celebrating and rememberingMy Profile

  35. I just recently wrote a blog about Re-Decorating yourself on my website…fashion and decorating seem to go hand in hand….I love both myself….well now…and decorating! I enjoyed reading your blog…..

  36. Best post yet!!!

  37. Thank you Melissa for the pep talk / inspiration this morning! It came at exactly the right time for me!

  38. Melissa,
    Loved your blog entry today! I have been on this journey the past year and it really helps! The little things I mean :) In particular, turquoise has become my go to color in all things ~home decor, fashion Etc. It makes me feel happy~puts a spring in my step and a smile on my face! Your blog has helped me as well :) I have had some sad things going on in my life that are out of my control and these little “tweaks” of color and inspiration in my home and fashion really life my mood! :)

  39. Hi Melissa,
    I agree that taking the time to put a little extra effort into our wardrobe and certainly our home has really positive benefits for us personally…and our faimly. I find that when the house is really tidy and I take the time to light some candles and cook a good meal my kids are happier and more relaxed. When I spend a little more time on my outfit or hair my husband appreciates it. Those things in turn make me really happy and confident…the effort is certainly worth it! Thanks for posting!
    Sara Silver recently posted..How to Create a Vision Board…Keeping Your Goals in FocusMy Profile

  40. Kimberlie Rice says:

    Loved this post.

  41. It’s ever so much easier, and better, to accept ourselves when we’re not comparing ourselves to others. We worry over whether we “fit in” when we should worry over what are we doing worthwhile with our lives. It would, probably, crush our feelings should we realize most people aren’t focused on US, they are focused on themselves, thus perpetuating the low self esteem problem. It’s a vicious cycle, one I’m glad to have broken in my life, decades ago.
    Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm recently posted..Questions and AnswersMy Profile

  42. Such a great post!! Funny how I wanted to do both of those fields as well and so majored with concentrations in both. :)

    I had to start wearing glasses full time my freshman year in college. It was so hard for me because back then they were not cool at all. I was staring a new school in hopes of making new friends and experiencing everything that college offers (being in your own for the first time). I insisted on getting contacts which I really couldn’t see well with and were super painful (gas permeable). After year I finally came to terms with them and look….years later they are cool. Now it’s so trendy so I embrace that!!!!
    Thanks for sharing your story!!
    Kayla recently posted..Easy SEW Pillow Slipcover {Tutorial}My Profile

  43. Great topic! I have been fretting about what to do with a lot of our stuff since we’ve downsized and have fewer closets, etc. I shall take a page out of your book. My husband loathes wicker/woven baskets (he sees them as uncleanable grime collectors) but the cloth bins and Ikea-type cardboard storage containers seem to be fine with him. In fact I’m looking around my living room right now and seeing places I could stash baskets of stuff attractively out of the way. Thank you!
    Julie S recently posted..I DID Marry A Gentleman FarmerMy Profile

  44. This forty-something LOVES your funky glasses. I just got a new pair, but they are of the reader variety. If I have to wear them, they may as well be funky, right? And I’m pretty sure I need a few more baskets now. Thanks for the inspiration!

  45. Melissa,thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.What a great post.All these you wrote are so very true.I become 48 last month and there are lots of thinks that i want to do for my self.I give a promise that i will try.

  46. you are beautifully stunning. that is all.
    {darlene weir} recently posted..Are you ready for Ditto DIY ?My Profile

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