7 Words to Live By This Year

festive winter outfit

Happy Monday and happy 2017! As you probably already noticed, things look a little different over here. Thanks to your feedback from the reader survey, I made some updates to the site per your suggestions and I really love the outcome. In general, things have been simplified and cleaned up, and it should be easier for you to search for and discover new stories.

Usually the first post of year includes a list of new year’s resolutions, but it’s pretty rare that I actually remember those resolutions or make them happen, so this year, I wanted to do something different. Instead of giving myself a to-do list of sorts (I have enough of those already!), I came up with a few meaningful and powerful words to live by this year. Some have to do with my personal life and health and some are directed more towards my business.

1. Momentum

This past year, The Fox & She grew more than it had in all of the previous years combined. I got the opportunity to work with some amazing brands that I love, travel to new places and meet some really incredible people. It was a whirlwind, but I loved it. It made me realize that some of those scary decisions I’d made earlier in the year were the right ones, and that a lot of things that happened wouldn’t have been possible if I was still running Leap.

pom pom sweater
what to wear in winter

red sweater outfit

Blair Staky, Chicago fashion blog

2. Purpose

For the first three-quarters of the year, I cruised through, feeling invincible, but these last few months, I’ve wrestled a lot with my purpose. I’m so happy to have a job that’s fun and creative, but some days I feel like something’s missing. Honestly, after reading through all of the responses from the reader survey, I really do feel like I have a better idea of what this blog will be moving forward, so again, thank you for filling that out!

3. Intentional

I said ‘Yes’ a lot this year. Yes to collaborations, yes to trips, yes to helping friends code websites, yes to side projects that take up a lot of time. This year, I’m intentionally hoping to say no to more. Like my mom always said, “saying no to something you don’t want to do, is saying yes to yourself”.

4. Simplify

I got in a better habit of purging our home this year, and when you live in a 1000 sq. ft apartment with a messy husband, a dog and you work from home, you realize how important simplifying can be. I hope to go through our stuff—I mean all of our stuff—and get rid of or donate what we’re not actively using. It won’t be an easy task, as Rob always finds reasons why we should keep things, but it needs to happen!

red sweater
casual winter outfits

red sweater and leopard clutch

red pom pom sweater and leopard clutch
fall outfits

winter street style

5. Presence

Being present was something I really struggled with in 2015. My mind was always stuck on unfinished design projects, client emails, dreams of living abroad or in a house we actually owned. My mind was anywhere but where I was, and it was causing me a lot of frustration and worry. You hear the words “Be present” all the time, but does anyone else feel like this is an impossible task?!

When I was out with friends, I couldn’t turn work off. I didn’t allow myself to fully enjoy my time with friends if I hadn’t finished my to-do list that day. I mean, what the heck is wrong with me? It’s not as if I’m going to get fired! Sometimes I think I’m a bit more type-A than I’d like to admit. This year, I’m hoping to continue to focus on being present in my own life, in conversations with friends and even when I’m doing mindless things like folding the laundry or washing the dishes. I want to stop multi-tasking and just be a part of what I’m doing in that moment, instead of thinking about the next one.

6. Nourish

I’ve always been a pretty healthy eater, but when I’m tired or lazy, I end up eating something crappy that leaves me feeling terrible. I’ve also realized that it’s not just about eating healthy, but nourishing my body with good foods, plenty of protein, veggies, fruits, healthy fats, lots of water and getting plenty of rest. It seems like I’m constantly complaining about being tired, and I’m vowing to a) stop talking about it here, and b) start getting more rest! I also want to nourish my body with time for myself, whether it’s reading a book on the couch or getting out and taking a quiet stroll through one of my favorite places, like the Lincoln Park Conservatory where we snapped these pictures of this red sweater outfit!

7. Fun

Overall, 2016 was fun. I got to travel, work on exciting new projects and step outside my comfort zone—a lot, but towards the end of the year, I started getting bogged down in the details and forgot to have as much fun. So, this word, one that I think a lot of adults forget to prioritize, wraps up my list of words to live by in 2017!

Overall, this year will not be about doing more things, but instead, doing things better— with more heart, passion and intention. Do you make new year’s resolutions? What’s your top resolution this year? If not, do you choose a theme for the year?

BTW, last year’s resolutions, and how to choose joy this season (and every season!).

photography by Jules Kennedy

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