Any given day has so many pits and peaks. One moment you’re snagging the very last parking spot. The next you’re snagging your freshly manicured nail on your silk blouse. And then tripping. On your own heels. In public. In front of your ex-boyfriend. Le sigh.
There are some secret tricks to avoiding the snags in life. We don’t have them all, but we have friends like Julia Dzafic and Courtney Quinn, who have a few clever new ones.
Lemon Stripes is where Julia writes about style, publishes healthy recipes and provides home-decor inspo. This mama-to-be delivers it all through a relatable lens, even if her kitchen always seems preternaturally pristine.
When It Comes to Your Career...
Comparison, Not Curiosity, Killed the Cat
Most of the time, bloggers are the first to admit that life isn’t always as it seems (um, you mean light, breezy and absolutely perfect?). “Being a blogger is great for so many reasons. I get to create my own hours and be my own boss, which also means that I get to choose what I want to post about and when. There’s a freedom that comes with this job that’s unbeatable,” says Julia. “What’s not so great? I don’t get a steady paycheck every two weeks like I’ve always had in the past. That can get really stressful, especially because my husband also runs a business and nothing is ever guaranteed for either of us.”
The advice she leans on? Never underestimate the power of hard work. “No one is going to hand you anything, so come into work every day, no matter your position, with a positive attitude and a strong work ethic. It always pays off,” Julia says.
And speaking of comparison, “Don’t be so focused on achieving a certain point in your career that you fail to recognize the alternative options as they arise,” says Courtney. “Keeping yourself open to new ideas outside of your predetermined path might lead you into something better than your intended destination. For me, one of those detours became my new career, so I’m glad I was open enough to wander down the alternative path when it was presented.”
In Your Home...
Create a Place of Retreat
Think of your space as your haven, a place where you should always be able to find comfort. “Home should always be a point of stability for you and your loved ones. You shouldn’t ever be afraid to go home. Do everything you can to create that haven,” Courtney says. Whether it’s creating a snug reading nook underneath the stairs or a kitchen that encourages long, leisurely dining, build a place where you wholeheartedly know you’ll be happy.
If the majority of your space needs an overhaul, take things slow. We recommend starting out by creating a beautiful entryway because a gorgeous first impression can signal to your brain that you’re entering a welcoming space.
As Far as Wellness Goes...
Keep Yourself Accountable
When it comes to your personal health, it’s key to to understand what’s best for your body. And don’t count yourself out before you even get started. It’s so easy to come up with excuses (we’d rather be watching The Handmaid’s Tale, too), but it’s important to remember the point of it all. Keep trying different things until you find what makes you the most content. “When it comes to wellness, the best tip I can share is to find happiness,” Courtney says. “If you’re unhappy, you’ll never be well and you’ll never live well. Stress and happiness have a direct relationship to health.”
When Considering Your Style...
Develop a Look That Evolves With You
We all know by now how much style can define (and even affect) our personality. And, much like everything else in the world, style is ever changing, which can lead to a lot of wardrobe changes. But your closet doesn’t have to mimic a revolving door. Courtney firmly believes in coming up with a signature style that grows with you. “It will do wonders for your world and wardrobe, all while helping you feel more confident and comfortable in your everyday life,” she says.
Not sure where to start? Try on a bunch of different outfit combinations and decide what makes you feel most comfortable. For instance, if you know you hate dresses (we always blame it on the wind) and would rather wear jeans, just do it. “A crop top doesn’t work on everyone, myself included,” Julia notes. “And if you don’t feel comfortable showing your arms, skip the one-shoulder trend.”
Before You Travel...
Throw the Guidebook to the Wind
If taking a trip every year isn’t in the cards for you, there’s no reason to fret. Alternatively, think about travel on a grander scheme. We are totally on board with Courtney’s outlook: “I think everyone should pick one place they want to travel every five years, and find a way to get there.”
On the other hand, if you’ve just booked a getaway to a brand-new city, take Julia’s advice: “I always ask friends, family and my readers for tips on where to eat and what to do. Guidebooks and travel websites are a last resort.” Don’t get us wrong, guidebooks are totally OK to source from, but you might end up with the same exact photo backdrops as everyone else on social media. Plus, your friends and family know you best, so they won’t send you to a restaurant that is the polar opposite of what you like.