Real Talk · Uncategorized

things you can do every day to be more confident.

One of the things I’m most thankful for in life is that I was raised to be confident. Well. actually if I am being honest I wasn’t raised to be confident but the complete opposite of that. I learnt at a young age that I was better than that and in that lesson I learnt to be confident myself.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still something I struggle with EVERY SINGLE DAY, but it’s always been instilled in me. That I’m good enough. That I’m loved. And even though I know that in the back of my head, it doesn’t mean I don’t question decisions and feel like I have no idea what I’m doing with my life half of the time. I still think there’s room for improvement – and even more importantly, reminders.

There are certain things we can all do each day to make us feel a little more confident –  no matter our upbringing, what we believe in, or what kind of person we are. And I’m here to share 8 of those things!

Own your body language.

Have you ever met someone who always stands up straight with their shoulders back, not crossing their arms, and just owning their body stance? You probably automatically felt their confidence (whether it was real or not). And then compare it to someone hunched over, crossing their arms or not facing you head on, and that person probably seems like they’re way less secure. Studies actually show that body language can change one’s confidence, but it also shows others that you are. Even if you have to fake it ’til you make it!

Introduce yourself.

Being the first to introduce yourself – whether at an event or with a new person in a friend group – can go a long way with confidence. It might feel uncomfortable at first, but it’s one simple way to feel confident. Plus, knowing people’s names and truly remembering them will help you feel secure in social settings.

Speak up.

Remember how I said I taught myself to be confident? THIS is one of the biggest lessons I taught myself– to speak my mind. To speak it even if other people don’t agree or have different opinions. To raise your hand in a class or whatever and let your thoughts be known (because they are SO valuable and worthy to be heard!). Next time you have the chance, try it. You’ll probably notice that you want to keep it in or not say anything because it’s uncomfortable, but force yourself. Even if it’s something small (like what you actually want for dinner!), say it! I have a feeling it’ll be really empowering.

Do something for yourself.

This can be a confidence boost for a couple of reasons. One, it reminds yourself that you’re important and that your needs matter. No, this isn’t being selfish, it’s being smart. Secondly, it probably makes you feel really good! And it’s hard to be confidence when you’re not feeling good with yourself! Whatever makes you confident – whether that’s working out and staying in shape, doing a face mask and having beautiful skin, taking a bath to let your mind chill and open up space, reading the bible – do it. Every. Single. Day.

Look people in the eyes.

I already mentioned body language, but this is SO important I wanted to call it out on its own. This is another thing that might feel kinda awkward at first, but it’s a power play, I promise. The more you do it, the easier the habit gets. Look people in the eye when they are talking to you or when you’re talking to them (instead of staring at the floor or wherever). Of course you can look away here and there, but try to go the majority of the conversation looking into people’s eyes.

Learn something new.

For me, learning makes me feel really good about myself. It makes me feel confident. I like to challenge myself and learning does that for me. Plus, I think being knowledgeable can be great in so many situations – like talking with strangers and friends, having opinions, etc. Try to learn something new as often as possible. That can be done from reading a book, learning a new word a day, listening to a podcast, whatever you want! Just know that you don’t have to be in school or learn a new language or something grand to improve your knowledge.

Say positive affirmations.

This is probably either hit or miss for people, and I get it. Everyone is different and what works for some might not work for others. But I have heard SO many people rave about what positive affirmations can do, especially for their confidence levels. I’ve even heard some of my personal mentors mention them. Looking into the mirror every morning and saying “I’m smart, I’m meant to be heard.” or “I’m beautiful and I’m thankful for my body” are good examples. They might feel cheesy at first, but they can’t hurt right? It’s crucial to teach your brain to think positive thoughts while replacing the negative ones.

Do something you don’t want to do.

Facing fears can be monumental for growth (and for confidence). Think about it. Say you’re terrified of flying but get through a flight successfully. Though you might not notice it, your body and your mind are feeling a little better about doing it again. And likewise, doing something you don’t want to do – like working out – can eventually form a habit of doing what’s hard. You know that boost you get after you finish something you’ve been putting off or not wanting to do? Think of how big of an impact facing a block or a fear EVERY day could do! Try to do this thing in the morning, as we all tend to have more willpower then – and it’ll naturally give your entire day a boost of confidence!

What About You?

I hope this list serves you in some capacity – and I’d love to hear what gives YOU confidence. Is there a daily practice you have?

Uncategorized

How to host Thanksgiving like a boss.

20 year old me would have toppled over at the idea of hosting Thanksgiving dinner. I had absolutely no idea how to cook a turkey, I’d never made dinner for more than 5 people at once and I didn’t even own a gravy boat. My family never really celebrated Thanksgiving before so my baseline for Thanksgiving dinner was basically through watching Friends.

Somehow, when we were 25 my (then boyfriend) now fiance managed to convince me that we were going to host his family for Thanksgiving.

That being said, this will now be our fifth year hosting Thanksgiving and 30 year old me has Thanksgiving locked down. We look forward to it every year now and start putting our heads together around the middle of August to come up with a menu, table arrangements, decor etc.

If this is your first year hosting Thanksgiving with your family or even if you’re doing a Friends-giving dinner, don’t panic. My job today is to hold your hand during this holiday and help you do Thanksgiving like the boss bitch you are!

Ready? Here we go.

Thanksgiving tip #1: prepare, prepare, prepare.

It is never too early to start preparing. As I am typing this, it is August 12th and last night we sent out the invitations letting everyone know we will be hosting  Thanksgiving on October 12th. (For my foreigners, Canadian Thanksgiving is in October) Yes, we are starting our preparations 2 months in advance and no, I don’t care how silly that sounds. We do this to make sure everyone knows well in advance and can play their plans with any in-laws, friends or work etc around our event instead of the other way around. I always like to be the first plans and I find it guarantees attendance.

Pull our your dishes and label each one for what you will serve in it.

Thanksgiving tip #2: don’t be intimated by the turkey.

You will want to make sure your turkey is the right size for your guest list and i

Thanksgiving tip #3: get into the spirit of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving tip #4: open your house up early.

We have our guests come between 4:00-4:30pm and set up Having appetizers and drinks

thanksful mat.jpg

table 1

Thanksgiving tip #5: set the scent.

Thanksgiving tip #6: set a nice table.

Our first year hosting Thanksgiving I knew I wanted an all white dinner setting but unfortunately our plates weren’t white and we didn’t have the budget for a whole new set. Instead I found really great square plates at Dollarama and for a few dollars each they did the trick! Don’t overlook Dollarama or your local dollar store for dinnerware, there are some great pieces there and nobody will know the difference! Speaking from experience because people still comment on some dinnerware items I have from Dollarama!!

Thanksgiving tip #7: DIY place cards.

Previously I haven’t done place seatings and left it as open seating but I think this year we are going to start assigning seating.

pinecone

 

50 Fresh Rosemary Sprigs USA Grown

Thanksgiving tip #8: let people help you.

The dog is going to find a way to steal a potato, or six.

Have you hosted Thanksgiving before? What are you serving? Tell me everything and ask me anything!

Don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.

Real Talk · Uncategorized

25 things you should be doing by the time you’re 25.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably realized by now that #adulting is actually way harder than we all thought it was when we were kids. I honestly still don’t feel like an “adult” most days, I just read a lot of self-help books (I HIGHLY recommend it) that help keep me in check.

Seriously though, there’s a list a million things long that I feel like I should have done with my life by now, so if you think you’re alone in feeling that way, you’re not. We all move at our own pace, which I think is super important to remember. But because I am such a self-love and self-improvement obsessed person, there are a few (OK, 25) things I think we should be doing for ourselves by the time we reach 25. I will preface this by saying I am 5 years plus 25 but I wish someone gave me this list years ago.

Before I dive in, I want to make sure you know I’m not putting this out there to make anyone feel bad if they’re not doing something on this list and are 25 or older. These are just things I’ve learned over the years that truly help me function better when I know I’m doing them. I had fun putting this together, so I hope it’s useful and you can take something away from it!

Get enough sleep.

Starting off with a big one! I still struggle with this some nights, but I put a lot of thought into how I can make going to sleep easier. By 25, you’re usually out of college and have a full-time job, so knowing how much rest you need to function is crucial. Some people can literally run on a few hours, some need at least eight. Regardless of how many you need, I suggest developing an evening routine. Go through your skincare regimen, get to sleep at a consistent time every night, turn off tech at least half an hour before getting into bed and use lavender to help create a super peaceful and sleep-inducing atmosphere. This formula legit works, trust me.

Understand balance.

This one is simple – if you eat pizza or have a heavy weekend, balance it out by going on a hike the next day or cooking healthy meals at home for the next week. No need to beat yourself up over this stuff. Always remember #balance, friends.

Find contentedness in spending time alone.

After college, I think it’s essential we all learn how to spend time alone and not feel anxious or sad about it. Being alone is actually a great time for brain dumps, reflection or just reading a book. I embrace it and can confidently say I ENJOY it when I have the house to myself.

Keep your car clean(ish).

OK, real talk, I’m still working on this one. My car isn’t the worst, but I could do better. Basically, I just think it’s important we start to take pride in the things we own like cars and apartments/homes.

Be able to cook yourself a proper meal.

I’m not exactly a world recognized chef, but knowing I can prepare something healthy that will nourish my body makes me feel pretty good about my adulting skills. Plus having a skill like cooking means less money spent on take out and delivery which really, aren’t so good for you but you already know that!

Become more self-aware.

Part of becoming more self-aware means knowing what you’re good at, what you need to work on, understanding your emotions, beliefs, etc. This may sound kind of elusive, but it’s SO necessary! I wrote this post on self-awareness a while ago, but it includes some really helpful tips on how to tackle it and why you should pay more attention to yourself.

Negotiate.

If you’ve been working super hard and deserve more than you’re getting paid, learning to negotiate your salary is a must. My biggest tip here is to set up a meeting with your manager and go in prepared. Have numbers to back up why you should be getting paid more. It is so important to know your worth and not be taken advantage of.

Communicate effectively.

Whether you’re communicating to your roommates, your boss or a friend, being able to clearly and concisely express your perspective is key. Learning to master this will help you avoid a lot of unnecessary awkwardness.

Walk away from relationships that no longer serve you.

As we get older, even the closest of friendships drift apart and that’s OK. You can’t force a relationship to fit in your life anymore when it clearly doesn’t. Appreciate the time and memories you have with that person and move on. If you haven’t already read this post, you need to right now!

Take criticism well.

I think it’s important to learn to not care what other people think (which is way easier said than done, at least for me), but when you’re being offered constructive criticism, hear people out. It can be a good opportunity to learn something new, especially at work.

Drink responsibly.

No one wants to be the sloppy one at a wedding, concert or just a regular night out. Know your limits and acknowledge them when you’re drinking. It is not a race but a marathon.

Start to understand your finances.

Finances can be tricky, to say the least. I mean, I just learned about stocks a few years ago (and I’m still confused). There’s definitely a reason you can make a career out of managing other people’s money. With that being said, by the time you’re 25, it’s time to start understanding your debt, income and savings opportunities. Whether you have debt or not, I recommend making a budget so you know what’s coming in and going out every month. I wish I would have started doing this a lot sooner, so even if you feel like you still have time to figure this stuff out, do it now! Or at least start asking friends about financial advisors they like.

Admit when you’re wrong.

Doing this takes courage, in my opinion, and it also shows a lot of maturity. As hard as it be, as adults, we should all be able to do this.

Make a new friend.

Making friends as an adult can feel awkward, but I challenge you to do it! Join a young professionals organization, host a party for your neighborhood, ask a coworker to hang out outside of the office, etc. Even if it feels uncomfortable, do it anyway!

Read or learn, often.

I know reading isn’t everyone’s thing, but there are TONS of amazing books out there that are incredible resources. Try doing audiobooks in the car if sitting down with an actual book feels too foreign to you. It’s basically like listening to a podcast but even better for your brain.

Know how to prioritize.

I’ve spent a lot of time learning how to prioritize because I love being able to maximize my time. I also think it’s one of those #adulting skills you’re expected to know, but no ever actually teaches you.

Advocate for yourself.

If you can’t stand up for you, why would anyone else? Speak up! Do you! Express opinions! Stand for something!

Move your body.

I mentioned earlier finding that balance between living your best life (AKA eating all the pizza) and being healthy. Part of that means having an exercise you enjoy! For me, I tried so many different things before I realized how much I like doing yoga. Take a class everywhere and even try doing something at home. Or go for walks (my favorite!). Once you find out what you like, it’ll be a lot easier to make it part of your regular routine.

Give yourself breaks.

When you’re young and ambitious, it’s way too easy to get wrapped up in work, work, work. But don’t forget to take breaks every now and then. You deserve it and it will ultimately make your work better. I learned this one the hard way and am still learning it t be honest (kind of a life lesson I think).

Network.

You probably have some kind of idea by this point what type of job you want to pursue. Even if it’s not your dream job, get yourself out there and start meeting people in your industry. It will help you land new opportunities and MAKE CONNECTIONS. Can’t stress the connections part enough. It really is all about who you know and now what you know.

Say no.

It’s not that turning 25 means you suddenly have to turn into a boring homebody, but don’t feel pressured to go out every time someone asks you to. If it doesn’t sound like fun to you, say thanks but no thanks. Ain’t no shame in that.

Flossing.

Flossing is just one thing you should be doing for yourself on the daily to stay healthy.

Not stressing about being in a relationship

This one can hit girls in their twenties hard and even harder in your thirties. Trust me, I’ve been there and I know who much it can suck. But believe me when I say, there is a plan for you!

Be kind.

Hopefully this is common sense, but some days, even I need a reminder. I’ve learned you get a lot further (even in the most frustrating of situations) by being kind instead of acting annoyed or being rude. And putting yourself in other people’s shoes.

Feel a sense of confidence.

Easier said than done, I know, especially in your early to mid-twenties (at least for me), but you know what? You’re pretty freaking awesome, so don’t be afraid to flaunt it! And don’t worry about pleasing everyone as much.

Don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.