Category Life

He Said, She Said: A Tale of Two Oms

My boyfriend, Shaun, and I have a pretty unique dynamic. He’s working his butt off to make it as a musician (and also helps me a ton with my business), and I’m over here doing the whole “whatever I gotta do to not have a real boss” thing.  What I am most passionate about has always been stories, and it always seems like we’re constantly in the midst of a tale that could be made into a Netflix series someday. Our relationship doesn’t necessarily have a lot of drama – unless we’re trying to figure out how to re-arrange the living room – but life always does seem to be throwing a lot of turbulence at us that we imperfectly navigate together. So, we’re starting a new series here at The Gem where you’re going to get both sides – mine and his – of the story. Complete with life lessons,

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Simple Tips to Significantly Reduce Stress

As someone who has suffered from anxiety and depression most of my life, I’m no stranger to stress, which used to be a major trigger for my anxiety. Learning to manage my anxiety and my triggers has forced my stress levels to plummet, which has been a boon for my mental health. This didn’t happen overnight; it took time and effort to learn how to navigate the stresses of life without letting them consume me. If you suffer from stress that feels insurmountable, it’s important to know that you can find ways to manage your stress and not let it manage you. How often have you, or even someone you know said, “I’m just so stressed”? Is it monthly? Weekly? Daily? According to a Gallup poll, 40 percent of Americans deal with stress frequently, with 36 percent stating they only feel stress sometimes. Stress can result from a variety of things

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I’m a Success, but Not Financially

Imagine it’s family game night. Fun right? (I know, not what you expected when you clicked on this link, stay with me…) You pull out Jenga. Because everyone likes Jenga and it’s simple: re-stack the blocks without f’ing everything up and making it fall over. I play Jenga every single day of my life. Only this edition of Jenga is called, “finances as a start up business owner.” It’s not quite as fun, or simple… If I pay the gas bill today, will it be too late to pay my AT&T bill in 3 days without my phone shutting off? Because if it does get shut off, how on earth do I run my business? Can I buy groceries today without having to ask for another extension on my rent due date? How big of an anxiety attack will I have if I spend an hour catching up on my bookkeeping

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10 Things to Treat Yourself to This Month

It’s a precious time of year, one that we must be careful not to get swept away in and take for granted. A small, sweet space between the promises of a new year and the lessons (and stories!) from the one at hand. This month’s 10 Things to Treat Yourself to roundup is a beautiful balance of #GemFinds to help you honor the space between no longer and not yet to set a powerful, but present tone for 2017! 1.) A Statement That Says, “Let’s Cut to the Chase” I’m declaring 2017 the year of directness. No more sugar coating, no more dancing around someone else’s feelings, no more hiding your shine out of fear. The Cut to the Chase Necklace from 7 Charming Sisters is just the reminder you need to protect your own sparkle and not let anyone else waste your shine or your time! If this regal blue piece

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How to Create Real Life Practical Magic

Over Thanksgiving, I dug in to instances of what I call Practical Magic (for more on this concept, you’ll love Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear). After a particularly dramatic day, my fibromyalgia went haywire and I felt myself becoming overwhelmed, unable to stop it, and furious with myself for this inappropriate timing. What did I do? I got a hot shower, the release the water allowed me was striking. I was able to let go of all the effort I had made to keep it together all day long. The liquid hitting the top of my head felt exactly like a spell designed to remove the tension. Real life magic. I was so happy by that comfort that I cried. Practical Magic Method #1: Engage with the elements in full vulnerability Water, fire, earth, air. Dare to depend on them for comfort. Humanity has always done this, and we

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Finding Strength in Loss

My dad was ridiculously determined to make me into a golfer (for real 😂). For years, I was so ashamed because when I thought about memories of him, our stupid fights about golf were often the first thing that came to my mind. I didn’t realize until recently just how important these moments were in shaping me into the [business]woman I’ve become today. Our conflicts taught me how to stand up for myself, to search for reasoning behind things I “had to do”, and how to negotiate (sure, I’ll suck it up and go golfing today if you take me to the mall tomorrow 😝). I’m now grateful for the resistance he challenged me with and I love him even more for it. 8 years ago today he took his life. I’ve spent a long time running from our memories out of fear they would only bring up pain. I can’t help

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Falling into Comfort

In case you haven’t heard, “get out of your comfort zone” may just be the trendiest phrase among entrepreneurs now and forever… And I agree, getting out of your comfort zone is important, well, necessary actually (we even have a guest post on “Why Eliminating Your Comfort Zone Should Be Priority Number One“), BUT in order to get out of your comfort zone, you need comfort. Everyone is like “oh fall, I love you so much” and I’m over here like “It’s time for me to move south”. Fall makes me uncomfortable. I’m not all about dead leaves, or pumpkin spice everything (especially because I’m allergic to cinnamon), and it reminds me that winter is coming and I just can’t deal with that. I am about the fall fashion, though. And why? Because it’s comforting. As we switch from easy, summer styles to chunky, oversized knits I’m reminded how essential

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10 Things to Treat Yourself to this Month (That Do Not Include Pumpkin Spice Anything)

Fall is in the air and while I can get excited about adorable booties (all of my favorites are on my STEP Pinterest board) and chic cozy sweaters (this girl’s got a board for those too), the crisp, cold air is just not my style. So, while everyone else is drooling over dead leaves and anything with the wordage “pumpkin spice” on it, I found a few less basic (did I really just say basic?) things that are perfect for showing yourself a little extra love and indulgence this month… And none of them are pumpkin spice related, promise! =P 1.) Caramel Apple Twizzlers: Move over pumpkin spice everything. Caramel apple is the all time fall flavor. These babies are incredible. Last week, I made a special trip to Target just to buy 5 packs. Not. Even. Joking. ($1.00 for an 8 Pack at Target) 2.) A dress you can style 30 ways:

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