Category Life

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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How To Battle Perfectionism + Not Let It Break You

I’m not perfect (gasp).  No one is.  No thing is.  It’s a simple idea, and something that should be chalked up to common knowledge.  So, why is it so difficult for me to admit?  Why do I cringe when I read what I wrote to open this newsletter? I’ve long struggled, and continue to struggle, with the idea of perfectionism (our previous Gem of the Week, Steffi Keung also opens up about this in her interview here).  When I was young and naive, I was convinced that ‘perfect’ was something attainable; that I could someday be the perfect person to everyone.  So I worked toward that goal.  I planned to be the perfect son, friend, student, worker, and significant other.  Every detail of every area of my life would be covered.  I would be accepted by all, and I’d excel in everything I attempted. Related Read: 3 Questions to Help You

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From Self-Destruction to Self-Discipline: 5 Tips for Structuring Your Life

My name is Shaun Novak.  Most of you probably aren’t familiar with that name, so allow me to introduce myself.  I’m currently the COO of The Gem.  I’m a musician, vocalist, and music producer.  I’m a dreamer.  Most importantly, I’m a struggling entrepreneur who’s been battling depression for 10+ years.  I’ve been helping Allyn behind the scenes with the development of the site and Gem Nation for awhile now, occasionally peeking my head through the curtain (with a few blog posts here and there), but I’ve recently decided to take center stage on a regular basis.  I’ve racked up countless stories and struggles over the years, so my hope is that someone reading about them can relate and benefit from my experiences and mistakes. Related Read: 5 Powerful Ways Your Business Grows When You Use Your Story (+ FREE workbook inside)  There was a time when I felt like my self-discipline

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The Importance of Structure

The Look The Audrey Petite Carryall in White & Ruby from KYLA JOY ($548 – Save 15% with code ALLYN) // Gold Open Bangle from Drew & Co. ($45.85) // Similar Polka Dot Dress from Ralph Lauren ($104) // Similar Pearl Necklace from Carolee Jewelry ($55) // Bryant Park Stud Pierced Earrings from Carolee Jewelry ($45) The Lesson Not too long ago, I thought everything I wanted was on the other side of freedom. If I only had more time, I could make more money and feel released of this stress.  If I just get this one more thing done I can be done for the day (and then 7 more one more things later it’s 11:30 at night). If I spend this night in catching up on emails, I’ll be free later in the week (it doesn’t work like that, the emails never stop).  I wanted to be my own boss because I wanted to

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How Many Meanings Can You Make with the Time That You Have?

The Look: Blue Taylor Tassel Crossbody Bucket from 88 Handbags ($45) // Coachella Rose Stainless Steel Watch from Escape Watches ($150) // English Factory Cranberry Dress from SerenDipity Boutique ($85) // Aldo Sandals // Styled by Christina Imberlina The Lesson: I want to write about saying no, but I believe in saying yes to as many experiences life can bring you. I want to tell you everything happens for a reason, but sometimes it just doesn’t. I want to show you how to balance life, but life itself is unbalanced. I’ve been at this blogging and writing thing for some time now. Sometimes the words flow out a million miles an hour, ending up all over the place. Sometimes the words can’t be found, anywhere, no matter how many stones I turn over. I always write truth. Things I’m feeling. Things I’m going through, that I’ve gone through. I often feel conflicted because sometimes I think my beliefs don’t stay firm.

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Act like You Know What You’re Doing

For my skimmers, here’s what you’ll find in this post: one look + one life lesson. This one’s on the opportunities you’ll create for yourself when you simply act like you know what you’re doing.  The Look: Endless Rose Double Breasted Romper from SerenDipity Boutique // Drew & Co Zircon Gold Hoop Necklace ($48.14) & Gold Open Bangle ($45.85) // Amazfit Activity Tracker ($80.00) // Ella+Mila “Purple Reign” Nail Polish ($10.50) // Alterre Shoes Mist Grey Mule ($145.00) // Styled by Christina Imberlina The Lesson: I first got bit by the New York Fashion Week bug in September 2013. We weren’t going to leave for NYC until 9/5, BUT one night when I was working through my chaotic inbox, I received an invite via Fashion GPS for the 10th Annual Style Awards. I instantly RSVP’d and without hesitation printed out the confirmation barcodes that landed in Gmail. After Googling what the Style Awards were (that was the last year they held them I believe) I was on

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What is Balance?

For my skimmers, here’s what you’ll find in this post: one look + one life lesson. This one’s on trying to figure out whatever the hell this “balance” thing is everyone talks about…  The Look: Tidal Cool Custom Dress, Gloria Wallet in Taupe from 88 Handbags, Amazfit Activity Tracker ($80), Pave Ball Drop Earrings (Similar from Rebecca Minkoff – $48), Aldo Shoes (Similar from Nine West – $50 ON SALE) The Lesson: I have no idea, so if you’re coming here for an answer, in all fairness, I did ask you first (by the title). Traditional definition of balance (à la Google) – an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady. Yawn. (I know, there are times in life when we wish and hope and long for steadiness more than anything else, but you’re really just reaching for it out of comfort. What’s the first thing you do when you reach

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