Three Heel Clicks

Spring Style

5 on Fridays - Five Books to Read to Ease Anxiety

Fashion, Inspiration, Petite Style, Lifestyle, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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Lately, one of the biggest ways I’ve used a coping mechanism like reading to learn more about ways our thinking can impact the brain. Specifically, how our thought patterns can improve our behavior and the way we think on a broader scale. Anxiety has been a battle for me for years. This year I’ve made huge strides in informing myself more about behavioral cognitive therapy, meditation, how sleep affects us and thinking patterns. I’ve used audio books from Audible to listen to while driving and also downloaded a few ebooks to read when I’m in need of a little break from daily tasks. Here are a list of what I’ve been reading lately:

Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder

By: Arianna Huffington

This book was one I downloaded and listened to on drives and walks. It’s written by one of the founders of The Huffington Post. Arianna discusses some of life’s stresses, collective international data on how things like technology impacts our ability to be more mindful and ways to address health epidemics. If you are a fan of having data back up a book then I highly encourage taking a look a this book. It’s absolutely inspiring and I’ve already started implementing more techniques and mindfulness in my every day life.

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The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook 3nd Edition

by Edmund J. Bourne 

I picked this workbook up last Fall and have enjoyed working through the assignments. It’s half text book and half therapy worksheets. It addresses how anxiety affects us, ways to spot triggers and identifying coping mechanisms.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Charles Duhigg, Mike Chamberlain

This was another downloaded audio book for myself. I listened to this one mostly on walks. It discusses how creating and implementing daily habit routines allow our minds to think more clearly and calmly. Habit routines are linked to creating mental clarity. This is a fantastic book and was very impressed by how the book draws sociological examples.

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Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living

Shauna Niequist, Brene Brown

This is a spiritual based book discussing a woman’s journey being addicted to performance. I actually was in a bible study group and we discussed a new chapter every week. It was a really fun group and getting to process what we learned each week on our own time in a conversational setting was so rewarding. I would recommend this for any mother or woman who feels like life is too full right now. The book discusses how important being present is and how it impacts inner peace, joy and our perspectives in life.

Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson, 20th Anniversary Edition

by Mitch Albom 

This is not a new book, but I felt like it was worth mentioning. The book is written in a conversation form and is a short read. Although small in stature this was an impactful book in my life when I first read it early high school. It’s written by an young man who was a student of an older gentleman who is now dying of ALS. The wisdom in each chapter is profound and meaningful.

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What are some of your favorite books right now?

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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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How to Wear the Hottest Hair Accessories

Fashion, DIY, How To, Houston, Lifestyle, Petite Style, Photography, Style, TravelCrystal JacksonComment
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Shop Green Dresses

One of the best parts of being a fashion and lifestyle blogger for my job is getting to share new ideas with you guys! I’ve always been drawn to a feminine, modern and timeless style but I like adding touches of whimsy from older eras like hats, silk scarves, vintage bags and hairpieces. Mixing old ideas with new pieces is one of the most fun parts for putting together a new fresh look.

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You may notice that lately I’ve been playing more and more with scarves. You can see an entire group of posts where I use scarves in different ways on the blog and on Pinterest. Today I’m sharing how to incorporate some of the best accessories for your hair right now! For today’s look I added a simple floral crown to tie in the blush rose printed dress and mules. I love how this changes the entire dress taking it from an otherwise conservative approach to something more whimsical.

Shop Hair Accessories

Adding a new style or accessory in your wardrobe can be a little bit of an adjustment. I remember when I first started adding hats into every day outfits I felt like they were a little over the top. But as I wore them more and more, I began to grow comfortable with this new apparatus being on my head. Same with headbands, hairclips and floral crowns. Sometimes, our minds and bodies have to adjust to something new. Think about it like a new piece of furniture you just purchased to fill an empty space. At first, the piece of furniture may feel like it’s taking up so much room in your home… but after a few weeks your mind adjusts and you can’t imagine the room looking any different!

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This can be said with anything you add in your life. Maybe it’s a new routine like I talked about last week on the blog. Maybe it’s a new decor item or fashion trend. Life is about experimenting and expressing creativity. When we do the same things over and over expecting different results it increases frustrations and feelings of inadequacy or low self worth. As humans, I believe we were meant to be exposed to new places, experiences and ways of self expression to deepen and define exactly who we are. I challenge you this Monday morning to try something you’ve always wanted to try. Maybe it’s a floral crown like I did here in today’s post. Or maybe you decide to take a walk to relax at the end of your day today. Maybe you finally pick up a pen and write words that have been lingering in your mind. Whatever you choose, challenge yourself to try something new. Write down how you felt afterwards. Reflect on your purpose and choices.

What is one thing you plan to add to your life today that’s new?

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How to Survive the Heat and Still Look Chic

Fashion, How To, Petite Style, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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The Texas heat is something else. We experience temperatures year round that some climates only handle through a few months. In Houston, the heat is amplified by humid air from the Gulf of Mexico. Let me tell you, starting in April it’s nothing but hot or rainy until October. After living here in Houston over a decade and having to endure heat through work, extra curricular activities and exercise I have found a few tricks for enduring heat that soars above 90 degrees with 100% humidity. If you want to buy this exact dress and hat head on over to my Amazon Shop and grab them for under $20!

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Choose Fabrics that Breathe

Being a person with very reactive and sensitive skin the material of the clothes and fit of a garment is a high priority for comfort. Too many synthetic fibers woven into a material traps sweat and ends up just breaking my skin out. I found that switching to linen, cotton, and silk during the warm months makes a big difference in being comfortable. I love the look of this checked shirt dress for warmer months. The loose fitting skirt allows you to move and sit with ease, but it’s still fitted enough in the bodice to look polished.

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Keep the Sun Off Your Face

Although I confess, I have a penchant for hats so I will use any excuse to wear one but they do offer coverage off my face. A lot of people I meet are surprised when I tell them I’m over 30 years old. I think so much of that is attributed to living a healthy lifestyle, maintaining my weight, taking care of my skin and eating nutrients. Where I used to bask in the sun, I now take extra precaution and wear hats for additional coverage on my face. Hats also provide you with better vision during bright days by blocking direct sunlight on your eyes. For this time of year I am draw to straw hats, boater hats and anything including a bow.

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Wear a Comfortable Sandal for Walks

When your feet are hot and uncomfortable, you are hot and uncomfortable. Although for long hikes I choose to wear protective footwear for a typical warm day I opt for a pair of comfortable slides or sandals. I stay so much cooler and I can still walk for a good period of time without getting unnecessary blisters. Another tip if you do get blisters often is to look for a shoe that has padding and is backless. I prefer to stay away from flip flops as they have been proven to damage your feet and ankles but instead go for a sweet pair of slides.

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Sweet Little Lemon Skirt in Birmingham

Fashion, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Packing, Petite Style, Travel, Style, VintageCrystal JacksonComment
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Recently I made a trip back to Birmingham, Alabama where my extended family is from. I go every few years to visit family there and this year was fun because the city was in full bloom. Birmingham was an overnight success back in the 19th century. It’s home to some of the best cooking (I have a weakness for fried green eggs) and so much industrial business. It’s filled with lush forests, white sand beaches and so many beautiful flowers during spring. Today’s post was photographed at my grandmother’s home in a little town right outside Birmingham. We’ve gone there since I was born and although the property no longer has my grandparents vegetable garden that I used to pick tomatoes from, it’s still filled with charm that leaves me with such a happiness.

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Shop the Look:

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I’ve worn this skirt in two previous posts and it’s one of my favorite Amazon finds! Lemon prints have been in the past few Spring seasons and being a nature lover I jumped on the bandwagon early. A knee length cotton skirt is so versatile. On rainy days you can pair it with a rain boots. For work you can add a button down shirt and ballet flats. Today I featured it with a simple black tank top, wicker basket bag, scarf and black ballet flats for a classic easy going Spring look.

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If you are making your way out to the Birmingham area check out this post where I share an amazing jazz club! There are so many beautiful sites around the city and you will find the culture is different than other parts of the South. People from Alabama are the kind to sit on their front porch to watch thunderstorms roll in, make homemade deep fried dishes and sweet tea seems like it’s on tap at all times. Grab a cold glass and kick your feet up while you enjoy a slower pace of life!

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