Life Advice: How to Say Goodbye

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I always try to leave my clients with a piece of advice or wisdom they will (hopefully) find useful even after our official working relationship has ended. I don’t think I’ve done my job properly if I haven’t found a way to help them help themselves. Self reliance is always Emma Approved!

For the last several weeks, I have been my own client, attempting to make amends for the wrongs I have done to some of the wonderful people in my life. Admitting and facing my own emotions. Trying to put the needs of those I care about before my own, even when I thought it would cause me pain. And finally, opening myself up to the vulnerability that loving someone requires. It’s taken a lot of soul searching and difficult conversations, as well as several pints of Chunky Monkey, but I now think I’m ready to move on to the next phase of my life. While I’m not sure exactly what that is, I do know I will be doing so surrounded by a small band of true friends and loved ones who teach me every day through their own actions about the kind of person I want to be.

I have loved sharing my thoughts with you on the EmmaApproved.com blog, but in the interest of having more work/life balance, I’m going to take a break from posting for awhile and focus more on the “life” part of the equation. Recently, I’ve added a few more factors, and it’s all adding up to sum-thing very special (wow, I’m making math jokes. What have you done to me, Alex Knightley?!?!?). And I owe it to both myself and those I love to take the time to focus inward and fully explore all the possibilities without the distraction of airing all my inner thoughts to the public before taking into account the needs of those I’m closest to.

Thank you for taking this journey with me – it has meant so much to hear your stories and share in your triumphs. I hope to be back with more wisdom to pass along. And remember, as long as you never stop learning and never stop growing, you will always be Emma Approved!

-Emma

A Smile On Every Day

Harriet introduces a new song with the newest member of her music club, Bobby Martin.

Download the Sheet Music here.

If you want to join Harriet’s music club, tweet your song at @TheHarrietSmith and use #HarrietSongs

Steps 9 & 10: Savor Joys, Commit to Your Goals

IMG_8266IMG_8236IMG_8298Top: ModCloth  |  Skirt: Lulu’s  |  Heels: Similar here  |  Necklace: ModCloth – Similar here

This is it! The final steps on Harriet’s journey and the wonderful woman she’s become. As she finally decides what makes her happiest, and chooses some very specific goals to focus on, her outfit today has a definite, specific theme. And that theme is birds. Trust me, it makes more sense when you know the particulars. Let’s just say that today birds represent hope, freedom, love and happiness. So we begin with this rich, colorful blouse in marigold with navy, magenta, and pink birds in flight. Then she choose to bring out the red, the color of passion, with a long and full, red and white, plaid skirt and burgundy, peep toe, Mary Janes. The final touch? A delicate, sparkly, silver pendant featuring a pair of lovebirds. Sometimes actions speak louder than words, and Harriet’s outfit today definitely speaks from the heart.

Step 1: Express Gratitude

IMG_8207 Ep_72Dress: See U Soon | Heels: Lulu’s | Bag: Similar here

It was a long road getting here but it’s finally over! I’ve completed all the steps of recovery and now, inspired by Harriet’s journey, I’m going to try for a happy and fulfilling life. The first step is gratitude. I have so much to be thankful for, have so many wonderful people in my life, that it makes me feel free, simple, and easy. This outfit captures all that and more. A refreshing, light, crisp white dress with a halter top and a drawstring waist. Plus, what could be easier than jewelry already attached? This dress includes a colorful, beaded, statement necklace sewn into the collar. Isn’t it great when someone does the work for you? Paired with sturdy, tan, multi-strap sandals with gold buckles and a compact, dark blue, envelope clutch, it took me no time at all to get ready this morning. Which meant more time spent enjoying my day and all the wonderful things and people in it.

After All – Ep: 72

Episode 72 with Harriet Smith, Bobby Martin, and Alex Knightley.

See my looks from this video, here.

Emma said/ Harriet said: Things We’ve Learned From Each Other

Emma & Harriet

Today’s post is another classic “She said/ She said”…but with a twist! We’ve had plenty of blogs where two people debate a particular topic, allowing readers to see things from different points of view. But conflict is not the only way to learn from another person; caring can be just as powerful a motivator.

Given that idea, I’ve been thinking a lot about how important friendships can be. How a positive influence can inspire and enrich who we are and how we see the world. To illustrate this, Harriet and I decided to list three things that we’ve learned from one another, and that we feel have made us better people. Because without Harriet by my side this last year, I don’t don’t know who I’d be today. And I’m not so sure I would like the Harriet-less version of myself!

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Announcing the Winner of Our Make Your Life Better Contest

Amy Hayes

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Make Your Life Better Contest.  All of your creative outfit photos and inspiring stories blew us away! We’re excited to announce our winner, Amy Hayes (pictured above).  Congratulations and thank you for sharing your fabulous look and inspirational story with us!

“You know, self-love is an important thing to learn Emma, and fashion is the perfect way to give yourself a little TLC. Two years ago I graduated college and got diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. It was a major change and I felt as if the world had toppled around me—I had to change my habits, my hobbies, my career path. I felt so isolated and trapped, like my body was something I didn’t recognize. I kept changing weight with my illness, and soon none of my clothes fit. Then a couple months ago I went shopping to replace some of my wardrobe. I tried this dress on and with its high neck, floral pattern, and beautiful coral color I felt like Grace Kelly. In this dress I began to love being in my body again. It was a turning point for me, and now I feel like I can take on the world! Paired with a sensible cardigan, statement necklace, a pair of vintage leather boots, and a playful mint-green hat, I’m ready for an anything life throws my way.”  - Amy Hayes

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Steps 6 Thru 8: Forgiveness, Coping, Go with the flow

IMG_8397 IMG_8418                           Skirt: ModCloth  |  Top: Color Block – Similar here  |  Bag: Cambridge Satchel                                                                       Necklace: ModCloth  |  Booties: Lulu’s

Harriet had a lot to deal with today, and once again she blew me away with her kindness, maturity, and keen understanding of the human heart. She is honestly one of the loveliest people I know, inside and out. And her outfit today is another great example of her lovely taste and self expression through fashion. What first appears to be a plain white blouse has a pattern of leaves underneath the surface, and matches these beautiful, white lace covered boots that give it a Victorian elegance. Her long, below the knee, pale blue, full skirt is covered in colorful blooms but the palate is deeper and jewel toned which has a certain gravitas. It is complemented by her deep burgundy briefcase bag and all together her outfit has the sweetness of spring but the depth of autumn. Perfect for her, and perfect for this time of year.

Step 7 – Helping Others Like You

IMG_8368Ep_71Top: ModCloth  |  Jeans: Similar here  |  Heels: ModCloth  |  Clutch: Similar here

Today turned out to be a series of heart-to-heart conversations. Some were planned and some were surprises. One even allowed me to give support and sympathy to someone who also makes mistakes. It’s definitely been a long day. So as far as fashion is concerned, all I can say is I’m glad I dressed comfortably. A pair of rich blue skinny jeans and a simple, bright, and refreshing tank top in pink and blue paisley. Sturdy, black and white platform sandals and a small pink clutch. All together pretty and practical, especially when there are more important things to deal with.

A Little Less Conversation – Ep: 71

Episode 71 with Alex Knightley, Frank Churchill, and Harriet Smith

See my looks from this video, here.