Category Archives: Lifestyle

Life Advice: How to Say Goodbye

Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 4.16.45 PM

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

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!

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

A Celebration of Love: Favorite Movie Kissing Scenes

We’ve given a lot of advice here at Emma Approved about healthy relationships and the personal work that goes into building them. Questions to explore before leaping into love, how to add some magic to your romantic life, ways to create balance in your relationships, and tips on maintaining your own identity when you finally find the right partner, just to name a few. If you’re new to Emma Approved, search our archive – you’ll find a treasure trove of helpful posts about love and romance.

But in the end, no matter how he asks you out or what you have in common (or don’t), a lot of it just comes down to chemistry. That glorious feeling that occurs when the two of you are together. There’s a reason they call it fireworks!! And nothing does fireworks quite like the movies! In celebration of the wonder of true love, here are some of my favorite kissing scenes. Please feel free to add some of your favorites in the comments.

May all of you have kisses in your life that are passionate, romantic, adventurous and sweet!

-Emma

Continue reading

Harriet Guest Blog: How Do You Know When It’s Love or a Crush?

COLOURBOX7406928

Hi everybody!

Emma let me do today’s blog. She’s a bit busy and is currently spending a lot of time making financial spreadsheets. She didn’t even have time to edit this before I posted it! So I thought this was a good opportunity to discuss a topic that most of my friends have had to deal with  when it comes to relationships.

People seem to spend a lot of time wondering what kind of person they should be with. Sometimes you think you know, but then a friend points out something you’ve been missing in the relationship, or hadn’t thought you might want. Or your friends aren’t as supportive as you expected but you know in your heart that the person you like is worthy of your feelings. At least you think you know. It can get very confusing when your own heart and those you trust and rely on are telling you different things.

So I was wondering what exactly we all should be looking for in a relationship. Is it different for everybody or is there some kind of guideline? Specifically I was wondering how another person should make you feel. If they appreciate you and give you support and confidence, does anything else matter? Or is it all about how you feel when you think of them? Do you want to be with someone who makes you feel comfortable, or someone who makes you get butterflies in your stomach? What’s the difference between friendship and romance? What’s the difference between liking someone and a crush? So I thought I would look at it from both sides, do some research, and then you guys could tell me what you think.

Continue reading

Life Advice: How to Make Change Real for Yourself

New You  - Green Pushpin on a Map Background.We’ve talked a lot on this blog about how to deal with change. Change in the workplace, change in relationships, change with family and friends. But before you can create change in your own life, you have to decide to do so. For some, the “decision to make the decision” is the hardest part of the process. The endless deliberation, the pros-and-cons lists, the worrying about making the wrong choice. For others, the process is exactly the opposite – the insight that a situation needs to change hits you like a ton of bricks. It’s the proverbial light bulb going off above your head.

No matter how you come to a point of change, though, at some point you need to figure out how to make that change real for yourself – how to transition something from just a thought in your head to actual difference in your life. A few ways to do this include verbalizing the change, allocating resources (including money, time and effort), pursuing education and creating accountability. Here are just a few examples of how these strategies can manifest themselves in different ways. Continue reading

Fashion Advice: The Personal Touch

In honor of our Make Your Life Better contest I decided to give some personal style advice on the blog for the very first time!  Not long ago we received an email from Caiti, a middle school teacher in her late twenties and an Emma Approved fashion blog fan, looking for advice on updating her wardrobe.

RiverSongMe

Her main concerns?

  • Dressing maturely for work without falling into the boring teacher cliche.
  • Celebrating her figure, and avoiding being frumpy, without being inappropriate at work
  • Shopping on a teacher’s limited budget.

I completely understand your dilemma Caiti! Making good fashion choices is often all about finding a balance while still struggling to be an individual. You want your pieces to be affordable but well made, figure flattering but appropriate for work, fun and youthful but more mature as you enter your thirties. And though you asked for some summer staples, you want pieces that you can use year round, especially on a teaching budget. So I’ve come up with a few examples, currently available in your size, to help you on your way!

Continue reading

Love Advice: How to Maintain Your Identity When in a Relationship

Young romantic valentine's couple

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about couplehood. Usually before you enter a committed, monogamous love match you have a pretty good sense of who you are. Your thoughts, opinions, likes and dislikes. And when you start dating someone regularly it’s a great opportunity to discover new things, or see things through their eyes, as well as sharing your favorite pastimes in the hopes that they will appreciate them as much as you do. Like any relationship, it’s a chance to learn and grow.

But unlike friendships, couplehood carries a much greater chance of “I” becoming “We.” Seeing each other daily, living together and marriage turn you into a unit. Compromise ensues, and sooner or later you realize that you now never make a decision without taking the other person into account. While a certain amount of this is very healthy for your partnership, it can also be scary because it can make you feel like you have lost your sense of self.

Compounding that sense of loss can be the way the two of you are now automatically associated together in social or business circles. Suddenly it can feel like any statement made or opinion expressed by your partner is connected to you…even if you disagree with it! As a single, independent woman, I’ve put together a few tips on how to maintain your individuality while still growing together as a couple.

Continue reading

Life Advice: How to Apologize

business woman holding a poster

Apologies are by nature one of the more difficult interactions to master. Feelings have been hurt. Disappointment, bitterness, and anger are just some of the challenging emotions that have to be dealt with. Delivering a meaningful, heartfelt apology is a skill that can take practice to master. But it can mean the difference between saving a relationship, or simply peace of mind. Here are a few tips on how to make an effective apology. Continue reading

Enter Our Make Your Life Better Style Contest

ForSocial

This is a sponsored post made possible by ModCloth. Thoughts are my own.

Fashion can give your life a lot of meaning, The perfect outfit can be a powerful tool, a mood changer, or an expression of who you are. I’ve always used fashion to create an image of myself, for myself. Choosing outfits that say, “This is who I am”. Great for facing the world head-on, and making it easier to look in the mirror.

Very recently, I started making some major life changes. But rather than give myself a makeover to reflect the new me, I looked to my wardrobe as inspiration for the new me. Classic values with a modern edge. Colorful, lively, daring, bold and fun. Warm, friendly, and approachable. Someone who makes people smile the way my wardrobe makes me smile. Most of all I want to inspire people, to dress for the life they want. But now I’m looking to YOU for inspiration.

We’ve partnered with ModCloth to host our first contest on Emma Approved, the “Make Your Life Better” style contest!  We want to know the look that makes your life better, the outfit that makes you feel the most you.

The contest runs from now until August 14th. One winner will receive a $150 ModCloth gift card and be featured on the Emma Approved blog. Click here for full details.

We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

-Emma