Redefining Time in One’s Life and Work

Time is a funny thing! It’s bittersweet, to be honest. You have so much of it, yet so little. I for one, am one of those people who perpetually want to do it all in one very moment! My FOMO is literally running out of time and not accomplishing everything I want to see, do and experience. However, as with all things in life, things take time and I consistently have to keep reminding myself that everything happens in the right moment, for the right reasons when the TIME is right.

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One thing, I am unfortunately very guilty of, is complaining that there are not enough hours in the day to complete all the things! Part of that is probably due to the fact that I can get distracted by something as simple as my pen falling onto the floor, the other is that I am constantly taking on more work than one probably ever should. I am always spending time organizing, trying to get my life and business sorted and planned, and yet it still seems like complete chaos! No matter how much I plan, write lists and buy fancy planners, time still seems to run out and I end up writing articles, such as this one at 2 am.

I had a great conversation with a good friend, who also runs her own small-business, and as we got talking about time, being busy and getting burnt out, she introduced me to this quote, which is actually what inspired me to write this article:

Guard your time fiercely. Be generous with it, but be intentional about it” – David Duchemin

I know this is not revolutionary, and most of you are probably thinking “well duh Kristy!” However, this perspective has changed my entire way of thinking and it really got me reflecting on the choices I am making and how I am balancing my work versus my life.

Let me give you some perspective on how a typical day in the life of Kristy Archibald generally goes. 9 am, go to one of my part time jobs (yes, I have two!), throughout the day I will reply to the odd email, post on social for a client and even get some work done on an article if I get a break, 6 pm get off work, 7 pm workout, then I procrastinate and try and work for the next few hours, 12 am WRITE, bedtime is 3 am and then I do it all again the next day! As you can see, efficient is not the word someone would use to describe this schedule and it frequently leaves me tired and unable to do my best work the following day – which is something that I take extremely personally!

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As a result, of the quote above I am slowly, but surely making some major changes. Why? Because frankly as an extrovert I enjoy having a social life and sleeping, while also making an income and doing what I am passionate about all at the same time. It’s possible, it just needs to be done right and how that may be is different for everyone!

This article is not simply to tell y’all how to succeed at time management; because clearly, I have not got it figured out yet and quite frankly I could use some of your advice! These are a couple of ways that I am shifting my focus, in my life, my business and with my relationships. Because I believe you can have your cake and eat it too, because I love cake, you just have to be strategic about it.

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Choosing the right client over making monies AKA saying NO

This one is the main priority! I am a yes girl. My mantra is, say yes and figure it out later. I would say this has been a strategy that has gotten me where I am today in my career, but I hadn’t ever given it any thought that I can be picky with who I work with. Now there is a line with this because at some point one needs to bring in money. However, I have begun to see my client relationships the same as I do a boyfriend. If there is something off, they are simply not a good fit, or we don’t click, then the relationship will never work. Saying no is hard, but I am finding it is crucial for my success and my sanity. I love everyone and I wish I could work with every brand and business, whilst volunteering for everything I am passionate about, but of course that is not possible! Focusing on doing a few things well, rather than spreading myself too thin is what I am aiming for.

Decluttering

I mean everything, but primarily my office! When I am working 24/7, organization goes out the window and I merely end up living out of my home, rather than in it. However, when things get bad and I can’t see my floor amongst all of the clothes, then I know that something needs to be done. When my things are a mess, my head is a mess and that just means that creativity is not going to happen. Minimalizing my life will hopefully allow for more efficient organization, which will result in a more productive Kristy. This is a big project, but slowly but surely I am making my way through it!

Lay it all out in front of me!

This means combining all the sticky notes, calendars, and to-do lists into one sheet that lays out each week for me. Then I can visually see what is coming up, what I need to begin working on and what needs to be prioritized, as well as when I can take a bit of time off. I am a visual person, so I highlight and create a list everything, but the key is having it all in one spot.

Not forcing my work hours

If I am not feeling inspired, or an article is just not coming together at 1 pm, I will either move on to a different task, such as eliminating my inbox or take a break altogether. This is hard, especially when I have multiple looming deadlines, but it’s much more effective to move on to something else rather than wasting 4 hours writing 4 sentences and beating myself up about how I am a terrible writer!

Taking a day off a week!

So far I have only gotten as far as to sleep in till noon on a day that I don’t have to be anywhere. Then I usually get up and dive into my inbox, because by that point it’s usually exploding with keeners who are wildly productive before noon – I wish! Currently, I’m planning in advanced, certain days that I can take off and head to the mountains for a day trip, or just see friends. Then at least I can begin to work my schedule around these days, instead of spending the entire time feeling guilty about all the work sitting waiting for me on my computer.

Put my phone away

As I have mentioned, I am very easily distracted. So when I am working, unless I am posting on Instagram for a client or I have a phone conference, I try my very hardest to “loose” my phone somewhere around my house. I am also finding that unplugging on a day off is key to my rejuvenation. When I have my phone I am always checking my messages, social media, and email. When I see an email come in, it’s my first reaction to is to read and then respond, but then there goes my so-called “day off!”

Working out of coffee shops

Getting dressed and out of the house can do wonders for my creativity. If I am not feeling inspired, heading to a café can be the best thing I can do. The white noise of people is calming for me and allows me to reset and dive right back in to my work. You also never know who you will meet when working in a café, it can be great for networking!

Being more mindful of my time

This can include waking up 10 mins earlier, enjoying the moment while I sip my coffee or being present while I am with my friends + family, rather than having my mind wandering to my work. Specifically mornings and I generally do not get along well and I usually end up getting out of bed at the last possible second, which adds a layer of stress that I don’t need, and sets a terrible tone for the day. Being more mindful of my time, rather than running from place to place will hopefully allow me to spend each moment succeeding at my current task.

If you have any more tips for me in my time management journey then feel free to send me a message! I would love to hear other’s perspectives on this subject!

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Outfit details

This look is fantastic, especially if you’re looking for an outfit that serves multiple purposes throughout the day. I can go from a brunch date, to a client meeting, to a board meeting, to an event while still looking polished and put together. Versatility is crucial when freelancing and buying key pieces that can be worn multiple ways is what gets me through my long crazy days – and its hella comfy!

All photos were taken by the lovely Sarah Beau of Sarah Beau Photography!

XX Kristy

What’s all the Fluff About!

Stay warm, look chic and make these handmade scarfs a part of your everyday look.

With Calgary’s temperamental and unpredictable weather, dressing for winter can be a serious challenge! One moment the wind is numbing my face and I am seriously worried my nose is just going to fall off, and the next it’s above 0 and I’m thoroughly regretting wearing that heavy knit turtleneck under my parka, to the point where I now carry a mini wardrobe in the back of my car – I just can’t win in this season.

To be perfectly honest I really don’t enjoy getting ready when it’s -30 outside, primarily because I end up putting on so many layers that style goes straight out the window! However, layers are key and they can always be removed when it warms up, which is sort of how the mini closet in my car all began.

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Riana Lisbeth Photography

 

With not being much of a hat person, due to my thin hair that is prone to kinks, static and stringiness, I tend to rely on oversized knit infinity scarfs to polish off a look and protect me from those horrendous wind chills. Knit scarves are one of my favorite things, because they are a timeless piece that will really never go out of style and they’re so versatile, while maintaining a level of coziness that makes going out in the cold not SO bad. And, if you’re always cold like me, you’ll relish in the fact that if you pair your scarf with the right look, they can look great indoors as well – yay for it being socially acceptable to basically wear a blanket to work!

Fluff HandCrafted – Modern Crochet + Knitwear 

This is one of my favorite knit brands for three reasons.

  1. They’re a local company based here in Calgary – yay for supporting local!
  2. Founder, maker and local YYC entrepreneur, Pam Morales, crochets all of the products by hand, so the quality of the scarves and cowl’s is unreal!
  3. The scarves come in beautiful neutrals and heather woven yarn, which makes them simple to pair with any look.
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Riana Lisbeth Photography

“I use super bulky wool blend yarns for their unique softness and drapeability that makes it easy to style without irritating your skin,” says Pam. “As a result, my scarves are designed to be high end, as I use detailed stitches that create textures which have a subtle visual effect. I love minimal lines and colors that match most of your wardrobe and can be your go-to daily staple for the season, which is what inspired me to stick to neutral colors. They can blend in or stand out against a blank colour palette, whatever your personal style may be they’re very easily adaptable.”

I teamed up with Fluff to come up with 3 different looks that are styled with Fluff scarves that are practical, warm and stylish – the best combo!

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Outfit details:

This look is probably not wise to wear on a -30 below day, but it is great for those random occurrences when Calgary has a warm spell or then those bittersweet Chinook’s hit. This knit turtleneck paired with Fluff’s “Grey Cowl Scarf” and Mackage leather jacket is a good example of strategic layering and the perfect outfit for spending the afternoon at a gallery, taking a stroll by the river or going for Sunday brunch!

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Outfit Details:

This look is a great example of a how these knit scarves can be utilized as not only outdoor wear, but as an indoor accessory as well. The darkness of the scarf compliments the lines on the shirt and the blue jeans help to off set the color scheme, making this the perfect outfit for a client meeting or casual Friday at the office.

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Outfit details:

This casual look doesn’t differ much from the last outfit, but it’s definitely 5x warmer and comfier! Adding a knit instead of the shirt can be the perfect solution when it gets a little bit colder and the best part is that this sweater looks good with any color of scarves that you may have. We switched up the charcoal scarf with the marble infinity scarf to demonstrate the extreme versatility that these scarves have. You could probably pair any of her colors with this jacket and they would all look great – so ultimately it just comes down to personal preference.

If you would like to invest in one of these wonderful scarves for yourself, you can find them at Crafted Goods in the Calgary Farmers Market, or be sure to check out the Fluff Handcrafted Etsy Store. You will also find a few other crocheted gems on there, such as handmade toques and fluffy afghan throws!

xx Kristy

**All photos in this post were taken by the wonderful + talented Riana Lisbeth Khem of Riana Lisbeth Photography!

 

 

 

 

The Aesthetic of Personal Style

As Stella McCartney once said, “I think personal style starts from within, because it’s a philosophy and an attitude. If you’re honest and true to yourself, you will have the best sense of personal style.

I spend quite a bit of time thinking about personal style. This might be quite lucid, due to the fact that I have built a career around lifestyle and fashion. However, for me ‘personal style’ goes beyond simply what you wear, it’s a candid reflection of who you are and what you aspire to be.

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It drives me crazy when I hear people mention that they “have no style” or that “fashion is wasted on them.” I mean, in no way does one need to hold as much interest in the subject as I do, but ultimately everyone has a style, it just comes down to if that style is an appropriate reflection of who you are.

Great style, whether it’s ‘on trend’ or not – doesn’t matter, ultimately is about feeling beautiful and comfortable in your own skin. What you wear should give you the ability to approach each day with poise and confidence. Once you have found this, you have unlocked the gold mine to your very own, unique personal style.

Fashion is a trend. Style lives within a person,” – Oscar de la Renta

How does one find their personal style?

Unfortunately, there is no step-by-step instruction manual to finding your personal style, as it’s, well, personal! With that being said, there are a few tools that you can use to guide you in the right direction.

First of all, as with most things when it comes to soul searching, personal style is always evolving. One day you might love your pair of vintage Levis or Louboutins and the next, you might be chucking them in the giveaway pile. That’s OK! Just because your style changes doesn’t mean you no longer know what your personal style is. It actually means the opposite, that you know yourself well enough to move on from a style or piece of clothing when it no longer suits you – or as Emily Gilmore would say, “if it doesn’t bring you joy!”

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What inspires you?
Everyone has interests, hobbies and people they look up to in some way, shape, or form. These are the things that make up a huge part of who you are, so turning to them for style inspiration is warranted. Whether you play soccer, enjoy watercolor painting or diving into a novel makes you giddy, these are all things that will and could be reflective in your everyday style. The soccer player, may have a bit more of an athletic edge to his/her look, the painter may love wearing beautiful colors and the novelist may enjoy a more minimalistic look to compliment their love for mystery and adventure. You get the idea!

Let your lifestyle tell a story
What you do on a regular day-to-day basis is also a large factor that contributes to your style. If you work in a corporate office setting, chances are business attire mixed with practicality will be a huge part of your wardrobe. However, if you are a freelancer, like myself, and work from home or out of coffee shops, you get a bit (and by a bit a mean a lot) more room to play around with different styles and comfort levels. Your career is a part of who you are, as well as, what you choose to do in your spare time. Allowing yourself the freedom take these situations and wear outfits that are appropriate with your own flare, are what will define a very large part of your personal style.

What are you most comfortable in?                                                                                                                     For me this is sweatpants, leggings, plaid and sneakers – yes that is the definition of lazy. However, I also know women who don’t enjoy going into public without dressing up in a pair of heels and a fitted blazer. For them, the thought of putting on sneakers and leggings is a painful, and vise verse. Now, I realize leggings are not always warranted in every situation. However, scoring a baggy pair of dress pants that flatter your figure, feel like sweats and make it look like you dressed for the occasion, is a perfect instance of combining your style needs with your style wants – especially if they are a staple that you can wear to work every day! Win win!blog-43-fb

Budget
My least favorite word when it comes to a shopping trip. As much as I wish I could shop at Ted Baker and Kate Spade on a regular basis, it’s just not feasible for my bank account – a girl can dream! However, there is nothing wrong with looking at these labels and drawing inspiration from them. Don’t let your budget be the defining factor of what you wear. Instead, shop smart, set boundaries and look for unique pieces that you can work into your wardrobe and style.

Extenuate your assets
What is your favorite asset about yourself? This could anything from the color of your eyes to your always-toned shoulders to your booty. Regardless, buying clothes that compliment your assets is a sure way to find a style that makes you feel confident and good in your own skin.

The key to finding your style is asking yourself the right questions! Is what I am wearing who I want to convey myself as? Do I feel confident? Am I comfortable? Do I feel beautiful? Do I still have money in the bank since I purchased this piece?

If your answer is ‘no’ to any of these questions then maybe spend some time reevaluating. Ultimately, your style should tell a story of who you are and accurately represent your personal brand, while allowing you to feel like the best version of yourself each and every day.

Create your own style. Let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others,” – Anna Wintour

What is my personal style?
Well, that is a darn good question! Ultimately being a blogger and freelance writer hugely influences what I wear on a daily basis. Take this outfit, for instance, it’s by far one of the most comfortable outfits in my wardrobe right now, yet it’s something I could get away with wearing to a business meeting.

It took me an eternity to find a pair of boyfriend jeans that actually fit my derrière, and now it’s rare to see me not wearing them. However, they very easily look sloppy and potentially homeless, so I always have to be careful of what I wear on top. This sweater is perfect because it’s cropped, therefore it still gives me a waistline, while balancing the perfect level of baggy – and it’s basically the comfiest sweater I own. I accessorized with a choker and my bow chain. The choker I felt added a bit more complexity and chicness to the outfit, and the bow, well I named my blog ‘floralandbows,’ so there’s your answer to that one. Lastly, my glorious white sneakers I felt just tied the whole outfit together – and they are also SO comfy (are you beginning to see a trend!).

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No matter what I have been doing in my life or how much my style has changed, there are a few, for a lack of a better word, trends that have always remained a constant. I would say these are what make up my true personal style, no matter what sort of fashion phase I am going through.

  • Floral patterns – you can dress it up or down and I always fall in love with the beautiful prints!
  • Button up shirts – these I find you can wear with any sort of bottoms and are so much fun to accessorize. I even find myself mixing masculine shirts with feminine statement necklaces a lot of the time.
  • Plaid – oh how I love plaid! It’s perfect for just about any occasion and is great for layering.
  • Collars – call me crazy, but my dickey is one of my favorite things I own. It can take a crew neck from casual to chic in an instant.
  • Loafers – through the years these have gone from moccasins, to flats to boat shoes to sneakers. Regardless I try and make sure they are the perfect combination of comfortable and chic.

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For inspiration, I would say I pull a lot of styles from the 50’s and 60’s, as those are my favorite fashion eras, along with minimalistic Scandinavian styles and classic Parisian looks. Basically, my personal style is a mix of my life, career, interests and things I have been inspired by throughout my travels – and it’s forever changing and evolving!blog-64-fb

Outfit details:

Choker – Salt Water Tea

Bow Chain – Bronze & Butterflies

Sweater – Community from Aritzia

Jeans – AGOLDE from Aritzia

Sneakers – Adidas Stan Smith Sneaker 

All photos were taken by the lovely Sarah Beau of Sarah Beau Photography!

XX Kristy