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    Habits that changed my attitude to managing stress in my life

    Attitudes follow behavior in many domains of our everyday life

    Let’s be honest – building good habits take time and mindfulness. As we know, attitude become habits over time, and habits almost always demonstrate character. Since habits help us to manage how we maneuver our everyday lives, we are usually inclined to make more habits to help us along the way. Sometimes we form bad habits but the truth is that our habits and attitudes are as strong as the power we give them over us.

    Over the last few months, I’ve been making a more conscious effort towards being mindful on managing my stress and embracing a positive attitude to life. I’ve had to juggle a full-time career with the balance of having a family, health issues, and building a custom home. It’s definitely been a roller-coaster but we all know that life throws us challenges and it’s our attitude that can determine our outlook.

    Today, I’m sharing some of the tips that have helped me manage my time better and my attitude to life. These may seem really basic but I hope they are helpful to you.

    1.  Positive thinking changes your perception

    It is true. A positive attitude can take you far in life. When you have a good attitude about anything or about the future, you’re more willing to be resilient because you know that even if things do not always go as planned, it isn’t the end of it all. As long as I can remember, I have always carried the mindset to be kind and patient to myself, and to learn to be optimistic. A positive attitude is a vital key to unlocking the secret to managing stress.

    2.  A good attitude removes limits

    When you constantly fill your head with negativity, you are immediately setting limits on your limitless potential! It’s almost like you are sabotaging yourself because your brain begins to believe that’s the truth and you end up setting yourself for failure. Each week, I set a reminder on my phone with mantras throughout the day to remind me to practice self-talk and with motivational phrases. This helps me get into the habit of a reset when I start to let my emotions get the best of me. Just like anything else, with consistency, it has become almost a way of life.

    3.  Take time out for yourself

    Mindfulness is a mind-body approach to life that helps us to relate differently to experiences. Paying more attention to our thoughts and feelings can increase our ability to manage difficult situations and make wise choices. I think it’s important to strike the balance between your responsibility to others and to yourself, and it’s okay to prioritze self-care and make the time to relax for good mental health.

    4. Get some restful sleep

    A regular sleep routine may not seem like a great way to manage stress but it’s an essential way to help calm and restore our bodies, improve concentration and regulate our mood so that we have sharpened judgement and feel rejuvenated to take on the world. Sleep is a powerful stress reducer. Incorporate some peaceful activities before bedtime like a breathing exercise, warm bath, or essential oils. These activities can release physical tension and encourage the onset of sleep so you are a better problem solver the next day and better able to cope with stress.

    5.  Be kind to yourself

    This could always be a lot worse. As they say, the grass looks always greener on the other side. With that said, try to keep things in perspective and remember that having a bad day is a universal human experience. If you feel like you have failed, carry an attitude of gratitude to lift you up and remember that a positive mindset can anchor you and help you learn from those mistakes or disappointments. Take a few minutes each day to clear out the noise and appreciate yourself.

    Attitude, when shaped in the right way, can influence behavior to achieve a favorable outcome.

    Let’s face it, there’s always going to be stress in our lives and a little stress never hurts anyone, however there are intentional habits that can relieve some of our daily routine stress factors. I am now more intentional in my attitude towards life and how I handle my daily schedule, as well as dealing with the unexpected. These five tips have really helped to alleviate some of the stress in my daily life and I hope what I shared helps you in some way too.

    xo Louise

    Fun Things To Do This Fall

    This time of year is an all-time favorite! The gradual transitioning of the weather with leaves falling, lots of pumpkins, gourds, and squash. The weather in Dallas has been pleasant the last week with mornings a little crisp and the afternoons warming up to bearable temperatures. There’s always so much I look forward to at this time of the year and I wanted to put together a few fun things you can do in the city this Fall and some cool home options too! These are things my family and I have already done or we plan on doing over the next month, and you may enjoy adding to your list as well.

    1. Pumpkin Patch

    Pumpkin patches are the cutest! It really is one of those first things you notice as a sign that Fall has arrived. There are many local pumpkin patch places this time of year you can take your family to. It is an exciting experience for your kiddos when they see the variety of pumpkins on display with their different shapes, sizes, and color. I love it when we pick one or two or maybe a couple to decorate for the front porch or to carve a pumpkin! Autumn at the Arboretum is so beautiful this time of year. It’s a great place to take pictures and one of the best Fall festivals. For something a little away from the city, there’s the Big Orange Pumpkin Farm at Preston Trail Farms which is open this time of year through November 26, and has lots of pumpkins, a petting farm and rides. Definitely one we will be going to again this year.

    2. Fall Events

    There’s quite a number of events that are organized this time of year. A great way to step out on a date or again with the family. There’s a few I will list here:

    OCTOBER 28 – HALLOWEEN SPIRIT WALK (ADULT event) at the Grandscape in the Colony, TX. You will be able to walk through the Lifestyle Center and participate in drink sampling at various locations during this event. This is a paid event ($25) and will include a drink passport. There are also FREE music events on October 29 that is open to the public.

    OCTOBER 31 – TRICK OR TREAT on Main Street in Frisco, TX. Your kiddos can help themselves to all the sweets they can handle and businesses on Main Street are encouraged to hand candy outside versus inside. I believe face coverings are recommended for anyone 2 and older to wear.  The city of Frisco have a few more events planned for the months of November through December but that is for a later post.

    OCTOBER 31 – NEIGHBORHOOD GOODS GOAT YOGA at the Shops at Legacy West in Plano, TX. Yup, if you’re anything like me, you will want to go to this outdoorsy event which sounds like a whole lot of fun!!! Oh, and because it is so close to the end of the month, there will be a costume theme for Halloween.

    EXTENDED THROUGH JANUARY – JURASSIC WORLD EXHIBITION at the Grandscape in the Colony, TX. Okay, if you haven’t been to this exhibition, then you simply have to. This is a totally immersive experience that transports you to the park to learn more about the prehistoric creatures that once ruled the land. It is great for both adults and kids, and the dinosaurs move. My kids absolutely loved the experience.

    3. Try New Restaurants, Juice or Coffee Shops

    Y’all. there are so many new restaurants that have sprung up with good food and drinks. One of my favorite juice bars that is 100% certified organic is Clean Juice. They are located all over the DFW metroplex and in other parts of the United States. I cannot recommend this place enough and they have a seasonal pumpkin spice latte and pumpkin smoothie that is absolute heaven! You can also try a local coffee shop like Amor Coffee Shop in Allen, TX which is owned by a fellow blogger and HGTV demo renovation designer, Jenn Todyrk. I also recommend visiting the Grandscape in the Colony, TX and the Gates at Prosper for some pretty cool restaurants.

    If you’re more of a homebody, then you can simply try your hands at making a new Fall drink from the comforts of your kitchen or attempt making a cup of green tea matcha with oat milk and agave. There are so many great recipes that have pumpkin for this time of year. I am a bit obsessed with homemade cinnamon rolls and will share a vegan option on the blog next.

    4. S’MORES AND OUTDOORS

    S’mores outdoors in your backyard are the best! If you’re vegan, there is a brand called Dandies that makes marshmallows and Trader Joe’s have some good options too. There’s always something relaxing about sitting outdoors watching the flickering of the fire as you make a s’more and enjoy it with family and friends. My suggestion is to experiment with the chocolate on your s’more. Next time you make a s’more, instead of using your traditional milk chocolate, try it with dark chocolate or peanut butter cups, or maybe a combo of both. You’ll be surprised.

    5. Home Activities

    Finally, there are LOTS of cool things to do at home. Remember those pumpkins I mentioned earlier? Well, you can certainly carve a pumpkin. We plan on doing some pumpkin carvings this weekend. If you don’t want to get your house messy, then puzzles are another nice way to settle in during Fall evenings with a warm cup of hot chocolate. Its a great family activity and a simple way to enjoy a quiet evening after your kids are all tucked away for the evening. You can find puzzles at stores like Barnes & Noble, Target, and Hobby Lobby. Movie nights are by far my FAVORITE activity to do at home during Fall! I love to turn on the fireplace, cuddle and catch-up on favorite shows or movies. I’m currently watching Succession and that has been entertaining.

    Hope you’re able to do something fun this Fall, either in the City or at home. xo Louise

    Shop This Classic Timeless Piece and Win $100 Off

    “An expensive watch doesn’t just tell you time, it speaks of your time as well” – Shubham Kumar

    The Classic Jord Watch

    One of my favorites aspects of blogging is getting to be creative – I love when brands give a concept and we get to create a story together! This brings me to the Cora Polaris collection by JORD. JORD (pronounced Yode) is based in St. Louis. Their watches are a sophisticated mix of natural, and largely re-claimed materials, combined with quality movements and components.

    My unique Cora Polaris koa and rose gold watch is a timeless piece of jewelry that is versatile, remarkably well-finished to the point that it is a welcome addition to dressy chronographs. The feminine design has a subtle design that is transformative for any outfit, whether you’re polishing up for work or elevating basics.

    This was such a sweet shoot and I absolutely loved wearing a lace skirt and blouse to further highlight the femininity of the Cora Polaris Koa and Rose Gold watch. There are just so many details in the finishing. Every feature, from the dial to the bracelet, are an evolution in the way natural timepieces ought to be. Swarovski crystals adorn the exquisite rose gold dial to depict the Little Dipper (yup, a delicate reminder of how much the universe has to offer). Koa is encased in hand-polished metal with rose gold tones.

    Koa is a species native to Hawaii and is widely considered to be the most beautiful of the native hardwoods. Though softer than several of our used wood species, Koa machines exceptionally well and finishes smooth with a beautiful natural sheen. Depending on the harvest season, Koa wood will produce tones that range from medium gold to reddish brown, similar to Mahogany. This watch is certainly going to be an all-year-rounder in my wardrobe.

    The Cora Polaris watch is such a beautiful example of sleek and modern design. I love having standout accessories I can wear daily that are both eye-catching and unique! This watch is a timeless piece for any multi-seasonal wardrobe, and also perfect for gift-giving! JORD ships worldwide and their watches have additional options for customization and engraving.

    Giveaway Contest

    For a limited time, I have collaborated with JORD to giveaway a $100 gift code to one lucky winner toward the purchase of JORD watch from one of their collections! To participate, please see the following rules:

    • Make sure to follow the link www.jordwatches.com/g/louisemillen to enter the contest (in order to be considered)
    • The winner will be emailed after the contest has concluded with your $100 gift code
    • All other entrants will also be emailed a 10% off gift code for participating

    I am so excited for you…and I can’t wait to see how you show the versatility of your new timepiece! xoxo Louise

    Sponsored ;  Photography by Mallory Kee Photography

    Work Wear Mondays: My H&M Look

    H&M Fitted Jacket; H&M Wrapover Skirt; Charles David Shoes from Nordstrom; Louis Vuitton Neverfull Bag

    H&M Office Look

    Another Monday, another work week! Today, I am sharing an office look that is affordable and yet stylish. This attire from H&M is versatile and I love the fit.  Thank goodness I didn’t need to get the jacket tailored!!!  You can wear this fitted jacket with a slim fitted skirt or pants, or with jeans for a more casual look. The skirt can be dressed up as well.

    A classic yet affordable look for the office is a win-win for me. I also noticed the jacket comes in a few colors along with the skirt. If you haven’t been to H&M lately, you should.  They have a range of clothing from loungewear to office wear, and I love their variety.

    Now who doesn’t like a jacket that’s under $25??

    Work Wear Mondays: The Pretty Lace Blue Dress

    Mondays

    The beginning of a new week….also the day of the week before Tuesday and following Sunday. A time when you either dread the start of the week or relish at the thought of a new week with a fresh opportunity to achieve your goals.

    What can I say? Mondays can be somewhat of a love-hate relationship. Sometimes I am so psyched about the start of the week and other times when I know how full my week is going to be, I start looking forward to Fridays!!! Yup, that’s a true confession because I am certain we all experience this rollercoaster of emotions! So back to Mondays and in my case, a new work week.  Since I tend to be a planner I usually like to plan my outfits for the week, however I occasionally go with impulse wear based on my mood that morning. If I have a lot of meetings, I trend towards a neutral palette but there are days when I need a little “pick me up”, and will settle for outfits that are more pastel toned because they are such happy colors.

    For this look, I am sharing a Francescas blue lace sheath dress that is so gorgeous and feminine! I absolutely love how the dress seems to fit in the right places and even though I paid full price for it, the dress is currently on sale under $50. You can wear this look with a kimono or jacket for the office or on it’s own for a cocktail or wedding. I love it without a jacket but sharing the different looks so you can see the versatility of the dress.

    What is your favorite office look? Do you like neutral or pastel colors, and do you tend to lean towards dresses, skirts, or pants?

    The Perfect Ivory Dress for Spring

    Spring

    The sounds of birds chirping, leaves budding, flowers blooming, warmer breezes on longer sunny days that seem to tease the promise of dreamy times. That’s how I envision every Spring! Everything seems to come alive; people, critters, birds, nature.  For a brief moment in time, there’s a level of self-awareness because everyone is looking forward to the warmer temperatures and the trees taking on much heavier coverage. There’s something tranquil about this transition and yet euphoric.

    With Spring also comes the celebration of Easter for many.  So here we are in April already and I am sharing this pretty white dress which will be the perfect dress for Easter and the outdoors.  Maybe a picnic possibly? We will have to see about that one….

    What I’m Wearing

    There’s something so exciting about the warmer days in Spring that just makes me want to smile and run into the sun. I love to wear lighter colors and flowy outfits this time of year. This dress is just so simple and classic. You can easily dress it up with pumps or strappy heels and look amazing! I chose to wear this particular dress with minimal jewelry it highlights the simplicity of the dress. The flirty short puff sleeves are so light that they tease ever so slightly in the wind. You can almost always never go wrong with a lighter colored dress ever!!! This Gianni Bini dress is currently available at Dillards

    I chose to accessorize the dress with this Coach crossbody bag (linked similar bag here and see my last post). Overall, I couldn’t be happier it’s Spring.  Now time for some much warmer weather and outdoor activities! What’s your favorite thing to do in the Spring? xo Louise

    Check out some of my Spring dress crushes and get searching for your perfect outfit!

    Ann Taylor Finds & the 40% off Friends of Ann Event

    Blouse and Skirt by Ann Taylor // Shoes by Sam Edelman // Bag by Kate Spade NY

    Keeping it simple today guys. I’m sharing a few finds from Ann Taylor today along with the “friends of Ann event” 40% off every single thing sale that ends soon!!! I just thought I will spread the love a little bit (lol). For the working woman, they have some lovely skirts, blouses, and dresses.  For the more casual look, there’s also a few items like the skinny/straight crop/and wide leg jeans along with a few dresses and accessories (or statement pieces). If you decide to take advantage of this sale, use code FRIENDS40. ~xoxo Louise

    Look 1

    Anyone else love animal print? I love this skirt so much that I have worn it a couple times with different blouses already!  For this look, I paired the skirt with a plain solid-colored shirt and nude pumps.  This is a great office look yet adds some fun elements with the print skirt ;).

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    Look 2

    Sticking to the minimal look, I got this shirred mock neck blouse which is the perfect answer to crisp days in the Spring. I added a statement piece to the black skirt with a bold belt, and finished off the look with black pumps and bag. It’s also a lovely office look if you don’t want to be too distracting during a meeting or if you are not one to play with bold colors.

    Either way, there’s a dress for everyone with this awesome sale at Ann Taylor!! I have had a few of their clothes in my closet that’s 8-years old and since they have classic pieces, they do not necessary go out of style. Let me know if you do take advantage of their sales.

    Blouse by Ann Taylor // Skirt and Belt by Ann Taylor // Shoes by Charles David // Bag by Kate Spade NY

    How to Style a Spring Trench Coat and Still Look Great

    Skirt by White House Black Market // Trench Coat by Banana Republic // Tote Bag by Ted Baker // Shoes by Charles David

    It’s no secret that I long for Spring and warmer temperatures

    ….and finally getting to wear lighter fabrics and bring out my Spring wardrobe pieces. Friends, I am ready for a lot more sunshine, a lot more warmth, and looking forward to seeing flowers and leaves on trees bloom to brighten up the scenery! It seems like this Winter has been a rollercoaster of temperatures and I am so ready for Spring. To keep up with our Texas climate, I have put together this look so you can see how to layer a trench coat over lighter pieces since we all know how our beautiful temperatures can go from 70F degrees in the afternoon to 30F degrees by night-time :).

    First, this trench coat from Banana Republic has been one of the best investments I’ve made over the years.  I have worn this coat during past years as we transition from the Winter into Spring months, and it still holds true to its value. I have linked a similar Banana Republic trench coat here. As we get into Spring, I also like to begin wearing midi skirts and depending on the weather, closed toe shoes or booties. In Dallas, there is hardly a need for stockings or thermal unless absolutely necessary. In this outfit, I have layered in a few pieces on repeat like my lace top and black pumps shoes.

    I think you can almost always never go wrong with a black and white look. Do you agree?

    White House Black Market

    Can we take a moment to talk about this WHBM swingy, satin full skirt with the pretty floral prints? I love how it visually contours the waist. Besides, a midi skirt is such a fun piece with a lace embroidered top and pumps for work and doubling for a night out with strappy heels for a more elongated silhouette. This skirt is so perfect for Spring and the print makes me happy!

    How to Wear Plaid and not look boring

    “The secret of great style is to feel good in what you wear” – Ines De la Fressange

    “Life is a beautiful sport” – Lacoste

    Casual Plaid and the Transition into the Office Look

    Friends, I have been shopping lately. Shopping for simple affordable pieces that can be worn on different occasions, and hopefully not go out of style. Does plaid really go out of style?  There are so many different patterns/colors plaid but I tried to stick to more neutral tones that can match with just about anything.

    First Look – The Casual Look

    • Can we talk about this look for a minute? I mean how cute is this jumpsuit with sneakers?! I love how affordable pieces can make you look and feel great. This Gianni Bini plaid jumpsuit makes it easy to mix and match. The slight high waist vs. natural waist gives the appearance of even longer legs which I love. Pair this look with a turtleneck shirt, sneakers, and sunglasses for a more casual laid back look. I am also crushing so hard on this bicolor leather lacoste sneakers!

    Second Look – The Office Look

    • My next favorite piece, and I have to say this because I mean it from the bottom of my heart, is changing this look up by pairing it with pumps! It’s amazing how a simple pair of heels can immediately change an outfit. It takes it from casual chic to professional debonair. A few tips; if you are wearing your jumpsuit to work then keep your lines linear, go for a clean silhouette that will flatter your body and keep you focused and sharp in the meeting. Add minimal accessories like a belt or jewelry. Remember the key is to make it stand out without screaming for attention! My laptop sleeve is sleek, stylish, and under $12.  I have linked it here and below.  This is a look I will definitely be wearing to the office for the remainder of the Winter months.

    Hope these tips help you go make a statement in that plaid jumpsuit! xoxo Louise

    “As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears” – Rumi

    @LOUISEMILLEN