Three Heel Clicks

Fall Style

Developing Your Morning Habit Routine

Fashion, DIY, How To, Healthy, Petite Style, Lifestyle, Inspiration, Style, TravelCrystal JacksonComment
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Lately, I’ve begin growing into the discipline of developing habit routines. After reading a few incredibly inspiring books like Thrive and The Power of Habit I’ve learned to begin my day the way I need to so that I set up a foundation to be kinder, gentler, more compassionate and most of all loving. There was a time in my corporate work career where I moved from one activity to the next without giving any thought to how it might affect my body, mind and soul. After a decade of living like that and burning the entire candle not just both ends, I’ve made a conscious and deliberate effort to change a life of chaos and develop a life of purpose, discernment and intention.

While hardwork and diligence is a discipline, I was far exceeding discipline and I turned it to a full obsession. I was a corporate supervisor’s dream… always ready to tackle more. Always willing to say yes. Never realizing that the more times I said, “yes” without hesitation or intention I was slowly become less of me and more of something I did not want to become. Late nights at work spilled over to not being able to sit still and enjoy time at home. I literally lived in chaos for a decade. Although I appreciate every single experience from that time, I now realize I can achieve a better life by implementing discipline into my morning habit routines that will allow my mind to have the space it needs to flourish. At the beginning of May I set out on a new journey. A journey to redefine my purpose - you can read more about that in last week’s post.

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After exptensive research and trial and error I begin to develop new routines. I start my day with a glass of water beside my bedstand. Before I even move or stretch I get this first glass down to fill my body with the hydration it needs. I spend a few minutes making my bed and stretching. I slowly let my body come alive instead of being my previous pop tart of a self. Then, I read a small meditation or excerpt from something inspiration and journal about thoughts. From there, I make a list of three categories:

  • One Big Thing I’m Going to Accomplish Today

  • Three Important Tasks

  • A Timeline for My Day

I begin with the end in mind which is how I am going to accomplish one big thing. That way if nothing else goes my way, then at least I knocked off one thing. Sometimes the one big thing is a long workout. Sometimes it’s a project or chore. My one big thing has become the center of the day. From there I list three other important tasks - pick up dry cleaning, coffee with a friend, or maybe write a blog post. I base my entire day’s timeline on these four items. I allow plenty of time to accomplish things and keep my schedule simple. I’ll be sharing my daily schedule with you guys over the course of the next few weeks on Instagram Stories.

If I could rewind the clock I would have been kinder to my twenty something self. I would have taken more breaks. Turned off work and slept more. Turned off the phone, the emails and late texts for work. I became consumed with being a slave to deadlines and projects. I literally could not go on a Sunday drive through the city without thinking as I passed by an industrial building that maybe I could help them become a client. While I do believe that many work inspirations can bloom out of the office, I was not being inspired… I had conditioned my mind to think only about work… about the next meeting, the next sale, the next goal I needed to reach to support my family financially. Now my days are different. My morning routine sets me up with intention. I realize what’s important and urgent and what can wait. At the conclusion of my day I reflect upon the things I put on plate and decide if it’s too much or too little. Whatever your current routine is I challenge you to start with just five minutes. Take five minutes to think about your purpose in life. Build your day around that purpose.

How do you prepare for your day? Anything especially helpful? Leave a comment or send me a tweet!

All photographs courtesy of the talented Andrew Sherard.

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Styling a Sweater Dress from LOFT

Fashion, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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I hope you all had a lovely weekend. I certainly had unexpected downtime on Saturday. Truthfully, after working with Dish Society on Friday I was exhausted from running all over Houston. We took most of Saturday to relax and catch up around the house. Yesterday though I worked on Valentine’s Day looks for you guys and will be posted later on this week! I can’t wait to share. Today’s look though has some exciting discounts. From now until tomorrow at 3pm if you shop at LOFT you can earn up to 50% off using the code:

NEWFAVES

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I love a good sweater dress and stumbled upon this one from LOFT over the winter break! I love it’s dusty blue color. It’s not quite navy but works with navy details. I wore it belted with over the knee boots. A sweater dress is one of the best things you can wear during the transition from Winter into Spring. I like to look for one with a fit an flare skirt because I find it more flattering than one that hugs too tight. Adding a belt gives it emphasis on your waist so you don’t look like you’re wearing a tent. This belt is from Anthropologie from over a decade ago, but I love this one from LOFT! It’s the perfect leopard print and will act as a neutral with most outfits.

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I also like to wear a good pair of tall boots this time of year. Houston is weird during Winter - one day it’s 70 degrees and the next it’s 20. If I am in a colder climate I can easily layer a coat (like this leopard one or this beautiful wrap one - both from LOFT) and tights for an added layer of warmth.

Here’s a round up of my favorite pieces right now from LOFT:

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LOFT has a ton of navy pieces. I prefer navy blue to black since it’s a little softer and works better with my skin tone. I remember hunting a few years ago for a navy dress and it was nearly impossible to find. LOFT has so many options right now for deeper blue pieces I was stoked when I saw their selection! Tomorrow I’m sharing a more casual look for you guys so you can take advantage of the last few minutes of this amazing sale!

What did you do this weekend?

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Cozy Neutrals

Fashion, Style, PhotographyCrystal JacksonComment
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Doesn’t this entire outfit scream cozy? While color holds a near and dear place to my heart, sometimes it feels good to just put on a neutrals. Mixing black, brown and tan can be much easier and effortless than you think. I paired black pumps with a button front fitted cardigan with tortoise shell buttons. Adding a fuzzy teddy coat and structured caramel handbag kept the shoes from not being over dressy, but also polished.

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While I usually sport skinny jeans since I’m on the petite side, a good bootcut jean can also elongate your leg when you wear it with a pair of heels. The pumps I’m wearing are only about 2 inches high with a block heel and the boot cut of my pants allow the bow on the toe of the shoe to pop out. I think another really great way to wear flares is with a pointy flat or heel so it pops out of the bottom when you stand and walk. Both are little tricks for a petite person to gain a little longer look for their legs.

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This season I picked up two teddy coats including the one showed here and a pea coat style in a rose color. I reach for them constantly for errand running, extra warmth on the way to yoga and so many other occasions. They are easy and luxurious to dress up or down depending on what you have underneath.

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The purse I’m wearing here is one I received for my birthday this year and let me tell you I’ve never received so many compliments. I couldn’t believe when I saw it what the pricepoint was! Neiman Marcus carries their own line and this bag was on sale for $50! Yes, $50! I snatched it up immediately and it’s such a perfect staple for all year round. I love that it’s roomy for even an ipad but also can be converted to a cross body. I think it makes a FANTASTIC work bag and dresses down nicely with jeans. The soft warm color pairs with so much!

Who makes your current favorite handbag? What styles do you like?

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Gifting the Joy of Reading

Fashion, Inspiration, Holiday, Style, Lifestyle, TravelCrystal JacksonComment
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In the past I haven’t jumped on the gift giving bandwagon of blogging. Primarily because I felt like it was a saturated market and I didn’t have a unique point of view. This year is different though, I finally found a little space to share with you guys so this marks the first gift guide on the blog! I am an avid reader. From an early (I mean really early age) I was devouring books and literature. There’s something about reading that helps a person escape to a new place, invigorates the mind and spirit and takes you on a journey. I love that books inspire imagination!

Now being in a digital age reading is now available in a variety of mediums. If you are looking to give a heartfelt gift to a loved one consider buying a book, subscription to a magazine or even an e-reader gift card to inspire someone to take their own journey into the world of words. Here are my top picks for reading this year (all of these are books, magazines or literature I’ve ACTUALLY read.)

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The Classics

Little Women - If you follow along on my Instagram stories you probably have seen my hunt for this antique book. Although I own two copies (one was gifted and in a beautiful hardcover while the other was one found at a local antique book shop) there is nothing more satisfying that opening a beautiful hardcover book. Little Women was a book my father told me to read at the age of 8. It’s a long novel about four sisters and their journey through life. Disclaimer: You may want to add a beautiful package of tissues to this gift. Unless you are someone who has no soul you will definitely shed a tear throughout this book. It’s a perfect gift for the young and old!

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Essays - I picked up my copy at the same antique bookstore but this can also be easily ordered online. Emerson was a profound pillar in the transcendentalist movement in American literature. His essays cover a multitude of topics including history, family, and life in general. He’s one of my favorite authors and this is a perfect gift for the person who thinks on a deeper level.

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Spiritual Books

Conversations with God - I read this three part trilogy back in college and have continued to pick it up from time to time ever since. It’s literally a conversation written by Neale Donald Walsh and his experiences talking with God. It’s forward thinking and each of the three parts covers a different aspect of life. The first book focuses on practical application for the individual. The second part is centered around global topics and the third covers metaphysics. It’s mind blowing! This gift is great for a college student or someone pursuing spirituality.

Lord, Only You Can Change Me - This is written by Kay Arthur who is a well known bible teacher. She discusses the ever famous Sermon on the Mount in an inductive style bible study. The book can be used alone or in a group setting and has questions throughout to inspire your reaction. This is a study anyone can go through although I would recommend no younger than high school level. I actually went through this book my senior year with a college mentor I had and we used it on coffee dates for discussion.

Tuesdays With Morrie - This is another tear jerker. Be prepared. I’m not the biggest crier, but this one got me! It’s a story about how to deal with emotions and written by Mitch Album and his dialogue with an old professor who has been diagnosed with ALS. The wisdom presented in this book is astounding although it’s a shorter read.

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Printed Magazines

Magnolia Journal - Can I say Joanne and Chip did it again? This magazine is produced seasonally with handpicked recommendations, products and well thought out articles. With a farmhouse style emphasis Joanne and Chip write about family experiences, crafted recipes and how to entertain wholeheartedly. This is a great gift for anyone who loves to entertain, craft or just looking to add inspiration in their life.

Martha Stewart Living - I have to share something… I’m a Martha nut! I have been buying her magazine for almost 15 years now. Next to Instyle, it’s my favorite! Her photography is exquisite and the directions are always step by step. One caveat: Be prepared to take your time when crafting or creating something from her instructions. Most everything I’ve made from her cookbooks, magazines and crafts have turned out but usually take longer than expected. My grandmother taught me so much about baking but it was Martha who taught me how to cook. This is a perfect gift for the homebody or someone aspiring to learn more about classic cooking.

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Food books

Martha Stewart Baking Handbook - After this I promise to get off my Martha rampage but this baking handbook has been on my shelves for a decade. Like her magazine the cookbook has beautiful pictures and detailed instructions. From this very book I’ve learned to make chewy double chocolate brownie cookies, a New York Style Cheesecake, and made from scratch Apple Pie. It’s the holy grail of baking books!

Williams Sonoma Slow Cooker Recipes - Here is a book inspired by recipes all over the world. The recipes include Mexican Mole, French Tarragon Chicken, and even Indian Dal. I received as a gift about a decade ago along with a large slow cooker. This is great for anyone who has a family and serves large portions! Most of the recipes require about 30 minutes of prep and then the rest of the cooking time is done in a slow cooker. I will say probably not best suited for a dorm student because it does require using a stove. It’s the perfect gift for family and friends!

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Books to Inspire

Success: My Path to a Meaningful Life - This book was written by Gisele the famous Victoria Secret model on her path to finding a meaningful life. I was surprised by her earthy nature and it’s in fact the opposite of what you might expect for a supermodel. She shares about her struggle with anxiety, how she parents, and desire to positively impact the world. This is a great book for someone going through a tough time!

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Coffee Table

Whiskey in a Tea Cup - Reese does it again! I swear everything she touches is pure gold. This is a charming collection of Southern traditions with a sweet spin. Her narrative is witty and the book is a perfect addition to any coffee table. It would be adorable to add a vintage teacup and craft whiskey bottle when giving this one!

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Books for the Kiddos

Mary Poppins - This is such a beautiful copy of Mary Poppins with illustrations and with so many classic children stories premiering in 2019 this makes an excellent prologue into the year. You can gift it along with a copy of the movie or even purchase tickets in advance to go see the film upon release! You can also add a bucket of movie popcorn and their favorite candy if you’d like it!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid - This series is a great collection for children who are beginning to enter into reading chapter books. You can purchase the entire collection or just start with a couple of the books. We actually found a version of the book so that you can have your child fill in!

Get Epic - This is actually an app you can purchase a subscription for a kiddo. It gives them access to tons of books and many schools allow this on campus! In fact, we found out about it from our daughter’s reading teacher. It’s less than $10 a month and will allow a child to read more books on a tablet, phone or computer. Great for long car rides and traveling!

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Books Full of Suspense

Sharp Objects - I’m sure you’ve seen the previews and advertisements for this HBO mini series starring Amy Adams and while the series was a great depiction of the story, the book is even better. There are so many details in the book that keep you on your seat and fill in where the series doesn’t dialogue. It’s written by the same author of Gone Girl and has a twist I couldn’t see coming! This is a book appropriate for an adult who wants to spend the afternoon curled up with a good book and cup of coffee. It’s one of those you just can’t put down once you start!

The Couple Next Door - This was listed on the NY Times Best Sellers and I actually read it on a plane flight. I oftentimes pick up books to read since I get a lot of anxiety around flying. The book is written in an interesting way where it flashes back to different parts of the abduction of a baby while a couple is attending a party next door at their neighbors.

The Shining - Although this was written decades ago, this is hands down my favorite Stephen King novel. It’s a MUCH shorter read than many of his other books and like Sharp Objects, the book gives more insight to the story than the movie version. Another fantastic gift when paired with a copy of the movie starring Jack Nicholson and directed by the ever impressing Stanley Kubrick.

I hope you guys really enjoy this list and find something perfect for a loved one. One of my favorite things that we do in my family is that when giving a book the gifter writes a loving message on the inside cover. From AA Milne’s Winnie the Pooh to Dr. Suess’ Oh, the Places You Will Go! have heartfelt notes written from my parents. I encourage you to find meaningful gifts and attached a handwritten (or typed if your handwriting resembles that of a doctor’s - haha) for your recipient to keep forever.

What are some of your favorite books?

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Timeless Style

Fashion, Style, TravelCrystal JacksonComment
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Let’s start this post out by noting this blazer has history! My great aunt gave it to my grandmother back in 1948. Yes it’s 80 years old! I saw my mom wearing it on and off throughout my childhood and once I was in college she mentioned it was my grandmothers. I told her when she was through with it to please pass it along. Sure enough, last weekend I came to visit my parents and there it was hanging on the door knob of my closet in my old room. I was ecstatic! This plaid blazer is the epitome of timeless style so I made it a priority to get this post up and hope you guys enjoy it!

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A plaid tweed blazer is always an easy choice for dinner, work or on the weekends. You can dress it down with a tee and loafers or dress it up by throwing it over a dress or fluted skirt. I think my favorite way to wear it is pictured here with a simple classic button up, skinny jeans, structured satchel and over-the-knee boots. It’s a modern yet timeless way to wear it and looks polished for most occasions.

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Below I’ve rounded up a variety of both tweed blazers and over-the-knee boots. Neither in which you have to spend a fortune! All of the selections below are under $200 and many under $100. When selecting a blazer make sure it fits properly and it’s construction is of good quality. I prefer lining in my blazers to ensure they aren’t going to be itchy if I’m wearing a sleeveless or short sleeved top. Try a few on and try them in different sizes. Blazers are typically made to be a fitted unless you are going for the over-sized look so take your time and find something that works for your body type.

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These photographs were taken in Katy, TX at the Katy Heritage Society property. It’s a little museum near downtown Old Katy where you can learn about some of the figures who made this now Houston suburban area a town. The structures date back to the late 1800’s and it was pretty cool to see how the city emerged. Being a lover of small towns I keep my eyes peeled when traveling to show you guys some of the little road stops you may come across as you adventure. You can read more about many of the small towns and cute places here if you’re interested.

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Since Thanksgiving is tomorrow I thought it would fun to share an older pot about setting a Thanksgiving table. You’d be surprised by how many items you may already own and just need a little direction on displaying centerpieces, layering linens and finally setting the table. I’m still rounding up a few more looks to post later today for outfit inspiration for the long weekend, but this look would also be perfect for tomorrow!

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