Thursday, July 11, 2013

Life is a Banana Leaf

c/o Wallis Top (here) // Nordstrom Rack Pants (option) (option) // c/o Wallis Shoes (here) (option) // Target Bag (option) (option) // c/o Sophistifunk Bracelets (here) (here) // Forever 21 Bracelets (here) (option) // Forever 21 Glasses (option) // Maybelline Lip Color in Fuchsia Flash (here) // Sally Hansen Nail Color in White On (here)

Remember when I talked about "Anchoring Balance" a few months ago?

Well, I have been pushing myself to the limits, in a good way. I have almost, sort of, kind of, found that balance in my life. After I wrote that post, it really hit home on how I was spinning out of control. My stress level was at it's peak. I was stretching myself to be there for everyone and everything. Um, it's just not possible.

I am a mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend and blogger....that's a whole lot of peeps in my world. I thought I could stay connected with each aspect in my life on a daily basis. I felt like I HAD to stay connected. If not, I was failing as a person, neglecting people and things that mean the world to me.

Helllllllo???? McFly? We are human beings; not super heroes, even though I'd like to pretend I am Wonder Woman (see yesterday's post).

After hours of reflection, talks with Ross, conversations with my mom and prayers, I came to the conclusion that I really could have it small doses. Life doesn't have to be bananas. It can be the swaying leaves of the banana tree. Like the ones on my Wallis top. I couldn't resist this analogy. Doesn't that seem more pleasant? Relaxing? Calming?

Here are my conclusions of trying to figure out a happy medium in our crazy, hectic lives.

1. It's okay for me to say no. Whether it's been social, professional, family/friend oriented or philanthropic. I have learned that people aren't going to be mad at me and I don't have to feel like I am missing out if I don't attend a certain something.

2. Ross and I have taken take time for each other. Alone. No kids. No friends. Just us. It's really helped us to reconnect and talk intimately without any interruptions.

3. I stepped back from trying to respond to every comment, email or request that relates to blogging. At the end of the day, I started this blog for me. I have been blessed enough for it to turn into a part time job and a fun hobby, but decided that it will not ever be a full time "job".

4. Take my kids on dates. Just us girls. Again, no friends or even dad. It's a perfect time for bonding and to be 100% focused on them. We also do things as a family of four, whether it's dinner, bowling, swimming or watching Duck Dynasty on the couch. We make a point to do some sort of activity at least once a week...together.

5. When I get upset, hurt or stressed, I stop and ask myself, "Will this matter in five years?" If the answer is "no", I move on and let it go.

6. I once heard in a church sermon the most perfect quote, "What other people think of me is none of my business." How true is that? I had to stop worrying about being judged or trying to be something I am not. The people close to me know who I am and I cannot worry about the perspectives others believe to be true about my life.

7. I embrace my time with friends. I am lucky enough to have different sets of social circles. It can be hard to figure out how to keep our relationships active because we are all so busy. I have made it a goal to stay in contact with the majority of them at least once a month, even if it's just a quick dinner, phone chat or text message. Life would be empty without my ladies.

8. Spending quality time alone was something I wasn't doing enough of. I was either with my kids, with Ross, with Ross and the kids, playing with friends/family or blogging. I started to hang out with myself more. Whether it was a half day of window shopping, getting a pedicure, sitting on the back porch after everyone was asleep or simply seeing a movie alone. It's good for the soul. It builds independence, confidence and is a good reminder that being by yourself is absolutely okay.

I probably could keep my list running, but I know I only have your attention for a little bit longer. In a nutshell, the past several months have been eye opening. I have made a conscious effort to balance out my life and I have noticed a world of difference in my spirit.

We all want to have it all. Do it all. Keep up with the Jones', if you will. If you don't take a step back, refocus on what's important, make time for the priorities, we are all doomed for least the feeling of personal failure.

What are some things that you do to keep it even keel in your world? I am sure everyone would love some added advice. I know I would.

And guess, what? There is actually a show dedicated to this entire post. No, I am not starring in it, but two famous twins are. Remember Tia & Tamera from "Sister, Sister"? Yeah, back in the 90's.

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1. FOLLOW @Celebuzz and @TheStyleNetwork on Instagram

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Thank you Style Network for sponsoring this post. All opinions and content are 100% my own.



Ashley said...

Great post girl and I love this classy look!!
I can't wait for Tia and Tamera season premier :)

Sincerely Miss Ash

jenn~the stylish housewife said...

I struggle with balancing it all EVERY day. Which is why I am up at almost midnight working on blog stuff. It is my only REAL "me" time. I feel ya sister!

XOXO, Jenn
The Stylish Housewife

Sybil@PeaceitallTogether said...

I love all your ideas for staying "balanced" and will definitely be taking some notes. Number 5 is the one I need to write on a post-it and stick...everywhere!! Also, your McFly reference had me laughing out loud :)

Helene in Between said...

Small doses is really the key to everything! I couldn't agree more, we all have a lot going on, especially you and you have to take time for yourself!!!

Rachelle ( said...

Great post, and I love you top and shoes. I'm already a big fan of Tia and Tamera.


Charming Lucy said...

Love this post! Thanks! I needed that this morning. And your outfit is fabulous. I am loving Wallis! Susan

Nina Piccini said...

Shanna I really love your posts like this as they're helpful to me in my life as well. I often think I'm not "pulling my weight" with blogging, teaching dance, my day job and get so wound up and stressed you really take EVERYTHING personally offensive. The pressure for perfection is insane. I love that you've learned to let it go, it's still something I work on daily - but I also love the tip "will it matter in 5 years". That's a great tool that I think I'll borrow from you. :)

Love this outfit as well!!

xo, Nina

Unknown said...

This is all so true. I love the banana leaf analogy! And your gorgeous hair!


Ashleigh said...

I love the top! You look perfect and summery, but you could be going ot work some place corporate in this!

Allison said...

Whether you realize it or not my friend, you really are Wonder Woman! I love all your advice and of course that top and how you tie it all in so easily. :)

Kimberly said...

You articulated this so well Shanna and I couldn't agree more - a great dose of perspective today! As a side note, I'm loving the print of this top...very on-trend but not in an overly obvious way :)

rebeccalately said...

Time along to yourself! Amen to that! That's the only way I can stay sane. I need quiet, peaceful time to hear my own thoughts.

FitTravelerAJ said...

I"m SO happy your have found balance in your life! I'm the same way...I want to be everywhere and do everything and its EXHAUSTING (and I don't have a hubby or kids!) I was just telling my friend the other day that this year is about everyone else, and she told me I need to make time for me. So I'm trying...and this post helped me see that too.

Sorry for the random rant. I do LOVE this top, and your hair looks gorgeous!


Anonymous said...

I love this post. We wear so many hats in life that it can be very difficult to keep it all balanced. Time out for yourself is one of the most important things I think women overlook. If you're not taking care of you, how can you take care of everyone else?

And that top is gorgeous! I love the print. The whole outfit looks amazing!

TaraMixandMatch said...

Such a great post Shanna, finding balance and not being stressed is so hard to do....I feel so much more relaxed now that it is summer and I am not teaching. Finding balance during the school year is hard...blogging really is almost another full time job! I am loving your hair, and that adorable top!

Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} said...

Yes! Finding balance is SUCH A CHALLENGE For me too! And about your outfit. As always, styled PERFECTLY!!!!

Because of Jackie said...

I loved this! I struggle daily to be the best mom, wife, friend, sister, daughter, blogger, etc and sometimes feel like I am failing at some/all of these. I am working on balancing the time I spent on all of the above and creating a system that works for me and makes me feel more balanced.
P.S. Your styling in the photos are impeccable!
P.P.S. I adore Tia and Tamera. It is my secret obsession:)

Lauren {By Lauren M} said...

It doesn't matter how busy I am, I know that for my own sanity I have to take a little time for myself. I need to decompress and spend quiet time with my husband! One thing I need to improve upon is saying no.

Fizz and Frosting

Always Maylee said...

First of all, you look beautiful. Your hair is looking extra fab in these pictures. And second, life is all about balance right? I'm so glad you took the time to figure out what works best for you and your family. and just like my friend Ferris Bueller once said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."

Yes, I totally just quoted Ferris. Love ya friend! :)

xo, Yi-chia
Always Maylee

Lindsay Erin said...

I have been thinking so much lately and considering writing a post about my fear of others thoughts about me. I'm praying that with this addition to my family I will let go of my worry and concern over what others think. Great post!

TheTinyHeart said...

Your hair is looking so gorg! I'm happy to hear that you have found the balance and have been able to reduce that crazy stress! Taking time for yourself to unwind is SO important.

The Tiny Heart

pretty little things said...

you're looking gorgeous girl -- your hair looks amazing! xo

Kristine -Heart Shaped Sweat said...

Great post girlie! I have to constantly remind myself that I can not do it all!! And that's ok! Love the tips and the outfit!

Unknown said...

I love this look, so chic and effortless!

Rachel said...

I feel the same way sometimes, just overwhelmed. It's best to take a step back, say "no" to some opportunities and focus on yourself and loved ones. Great post!

Style-Delights said...

I hear ya girlfriend! My key to that illusive work life balance is just let go, and don't sweat the stuff you will forget about in a week! Love Wallis prints - this top is just gorgeous!! Hope you are having a wonderful day!
Style-Delights Blog

A Brew of Blessings said...

I really needed this - thanks for posting! I, too ,like to think I can do it all but sometimes we've got to learn to 'breath'. Love this little blog world of yours and your wise words of wisdom! ;)

Lindsay said...

Great post! Your hair looks adorable, the shirt is super cute and you're beautiful :)

Unknown said...

Your post totally resonated with me. Finding balance in my life is a constant struggle. The last couple of weeks I have been committed to only doing things that I WANT to do. it feels good.


SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...


I practice most of the things you mentioned: I take time for me, I do what I can, I say no to things, I make sure my husband and I have time alone together, I don't give a crap what others think about me because that's their problem and not mine. I used to not do these things as recently as three or four years ago, and what a different life. I am much more balanced and serene now, and I love my life a lot more.

I'm glad you are finding your balance. Be careful to keep it friend!

Elizabeth said...

Beautiful post Shanna. While I am just starting out blogging, I completely feel you. It is hard to fight the temptation to be everything at once. I have been working on saying "no" more this year (more at work). It feels great, and I find people respect me more when I do!

Loving your shirt btw, looks great! :)

Unknown said...

You look SO pretty Shanna! Love your hair this way. And I'm glad you are finding ways to balance your time. I have been struggling with this lately too... stress is super high, but I think it is also just a super busy summer for me. I have been saying no more often, but it is making me feel better about life!

Cece @Mahogany Drive said...

Sounds like you have done some wonderful soul searching and come to some really good conclusions. Stick to it and you will be nice and round. Not in body; but in spirit!! : ) Luv the outfit. And omg I want to win that 2k.

Audrey @ Putting Me Together said...

I'm really glad for you, Shanna! Your outfit is killer too!

Courtney said...

Words of wisdom Shanna:) Summer has been a whirlwind and it's easy to get so much on the plate that I start to feel like I'm drowning. These are great reminders:)

Carly said...

Love this! It was really hard for me to learn to say no to things. My husband jokes that I always come from a place of yes, and he always comes from a place of no. I say yes to EVERYTHING! It can be very overwhelming, and cause more stress than benefit!


Niki {Glossy Blonde} said...

I agree with so many of the things on your list - taking time for ourselves, or as a married couple without the kids, or technology in our case, is so very important! We can't do it all, but we can HAVE it all :)

Unknown said...

I love that top...I need to get shopping on Wallis.
Hope you can check my latest post :)

Anonymous said...

I too have had to learn to say no to certain things. I always wanted to do everything everyone else wanted me to do...I had to step back and realize this is my life and I need time for myself too:)

. said...

This is totally not related to your topic but you have amazing style

Unknown said...

That blouse is beautiful Shanna!


Stylin' In St. Louis said...

Everything from your hair to your blouse to your shoes is gorgeous! Love your style!


Stylin' In St. Louis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stylin' In St. Louis said...

Everything from your hair to your blouse to your shoes is gorgeous! Love your style!


Unknown said...

I LOVE this outfit! So chic!

still being [molly] said...

preach, shanna!! i am right there with you, girl. <3 your heart!

Kathrin@shopschoolsleep said...

1- you look gorgeous
2- love your hair in this pic!!
3- I'm glad you found your "no" voice and the small balance and you're de-stressed
4- THANK YOU for taking time to comment/respond to my text and emails!! I heart you!!

Lauren @ Style of Ones Own said...

I feel your pain. And I don't have kiddos or a huge blog following! Keeping up is tough. I think you have a great game plan for balance. Good luck!

Style of One's Own

Unknown said...

What a great look! I adore that shirt!
Finding balance is so hard, especially with kids, but it sounds like you're doing awesome.
Love your blog btw!

Unknown said...

It was always be my motto to live a balanced life. I do find there seems to less time for everything. I honestly never realized how much work blogging was. I enjoy it and it's fun and a hobby for me but I want to make it better and I have to tell myself to stop and do other things.

My me time is going to Crossfit - exercising really makes a difference in giving me an extra pep that I need.

BTW - love this top and your hair looks so pretty!


Lacey said...

Your hair is gorgeous like that! Love it!!!

Gwen said...

This is such an amazing post. We've been spending so much time with friends lately and yes, it's fun, but just the other night we were out to eat and Aaron asked if I wanted to sit at the bar so we could chat with the bartender. I said "I'd much rather just talk with YOU."

I also need to have intentional alone time. I've missed me.

The Style Storm said...

Just discovered your blog and I absolutely love it!
Now following! :)

The Style Storm
xo, Christina

Annie said...

First of all, you look fabulous, and I love, and I mean LOVE that banana leaf top! And second, such wise words Shanna :) They definitely make me want to have some "me" time soon!

The Other Side of Gray

Janna Renee said...

I'm trying to take time for myself too. I have definitely learned to say no.

My nickname is banana, so I need that shirt. Haha.