Have you heard!? Lilac And Lilies is celebrating its NINTH anniversary, and I’ve put together a calendar of amazing events at the boutique to celebrate you, yes YOU! We would be nothing without your continuous support and love, so I’m dedicating this birthday bash to all of the incredible women who have kept our brand alive. Speaking of incredible women, something really special is happening on Saturday, April 28th. I’ve invited four female trailblazers who are not only inspiring, but totally kick-ass in their respective industries to sit on an interactive panel and take YOUR questions.

You may be wondering; how do you define a trailblazer? Trailblazers are curious. They’re problem solvers. They’re passionate about learning. They know how to take what they learn and turn it into a job. More importantly, they care about empowering others, no matter who they are.

It’s not every day that four dynamic women from varying walks of life get together to shed their truth on navigating the fashion and beauty industries. Join us for a day of conversation, encouragement and inspiration from women who are shifting perspectives.

–  Saturday, March 28th from 10 am to 7 pm // Panel begins at 2 O’CLOCK –

Whether you’re interested in working in beauty or fashion or you’re looking for advice on how to build your own business, our panel will offer real and fresh viewpoints on what it takes to succeed like a #GirlBoss. Bring a notepad and pen because our panelists are about to be dropping some crucial gems that you won’t want to miss!

Without further ado, I’m thrilled to announce our Trailblazers Panel:


Leslie Munsell, celebrity makeup artist and founder of Beauty For Real — @beautyforreal and @lesliemunsell

Leslie is real. She is Beauty For Real. She is a Makeup Maverick. Innovator. Trend Forecaster. Educator. Entrepreneur. #GirlBoss. As the founder of Beauty For Real, Leslie Munsell is diligently on duty 24/7 — making the world, well, a prettier place. With over 25 years’ experience as a celebrity makeup artist, she has worked with the biggest talents in the advertising and fashion worlds and collaborated with legendary photographers including Patrick Demarchelier, Tom Munro, Anne Menke and high-brow designers such as Giorgio Armani, Roberto Cavalli, Zac Posen. Her A-list clientele includes Mariah Carey, Venus and Serena Williams, Brooklyn Decker, Miranda Kerr, Shakira, Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union. Leslie’s work has been prominently featured in publications such as W Magazine, Allure, Harper’s BAZAAR, InStyle and Oprah and she has frequently appeared on NBC and CBS as a beauty expert.

 


“Brickellista” Evelyn Torres, lifestyle blogger and entrepreneur — @brickellista

As one of Miami’s top bloggers, Evelyn Torres has become one of the leading voices in fitness, fashion, and Miami. Brickellista started as a Twitter alias in 2009 and has expanded to become a lifestyle blog capturing a Miami girl’s perspective. Evelyn is a businesswoman, entrepreneur, brand ambassador, who also happens to be on the pulse of the Miami social scene. Today, as Founder and Creative Director of BrickellistaFile.com, Evelyn is not only the face of BrickellistaFiles, but oversees the strategy and direction. She is the driving force behind the brand and has built the go-to site for everything Miami.


Marissa Mosseri, fashion blogger and Business Development Manager of PRIV — @marissalynne and @priv

Marissa is a Miami-based blogger and online influencer who shares her personal style, foodie adventures, favorite products, event coverage and worldwide travels with her audience. Marissa also handles Business Development for Priv, the innovative and rapidly growing on-demand beauty and wellness app. Priv has worked with companies including Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, Bloomingdale’s, Bumble, WeWork, Hilton, and Macy’s to bring beauty and wellness perks into their offices, or on-site as an event activation.


Caitlin Saucier, fashion influencer and celebrity wardrobe stylist — @saucistyle

Style Expert Caitlin Saucier has been lending her style advice to Floridians since the day her toes hit the sand from the Big Apple. Best known for her “Closet Rehabs,”​ she has also done a number of photoshoots and video advertising campaigns for companies such as Tresemme and NuNaat. Caitlin has styled everyone from top Argentine polo player Nacho Figueras for his Johnnie Walker Blue ad campaign and his editorial in Esquire Magazine Latin America, to interior designer Thom Filicia. Caitlin is currently styling Thom’s ad campaigns and video for the highly anticipated Biscayne Beach development. Furthermore, Caitlin contributes her expertise to THINK Magazine where she has a monthly column of what’s hot now.

Check out our Facebook event for all of the ninth anniversary details! I look forward to seeing you all there!

Xoxo,
Michelle

We’re celebrating our 9-year anniversary with a weekend-long event celebrating the amazing women who kept the L&L brand strong. The three-part celebration, beginning on Friday, April 27 and ending on Sunday, April 29, will include one-of- a-kind activations, bubbly fueled shopping compliments of Villa Riviera, organic nitro cold brew compliments of Lucky Jack Coffee, and and an interactive speakers panel of female trailblazers including Beauty For Real founder and celebrity makeup artist Leslie Munsell and Miami lifestyle blogger, Brickellista File’s Evelyn Torres alongside Lilac And Lilies founder Michelle DiMarco.

Guests are invited to celebrate this momentous occasion at the Fort Lauderdale boutique, located at 2541 East Sunrise Blvd. Since opening its doors in 2009, Lilac And Lilies has thrived as an innovative fashion boutique and lifestyle destination in South Florida, allowing its fashion-forward clientele to enjoy the fiercest styles in women’s clothing and accessories.

Known for its airy and inviting ambiance, the boutique is where up-and- coming designers from New York, Los Angeles and overseas share shelf space with local favorites hand-picked by owner Michelle DiMarco.

Among the 1,700 square-foot boutique’s elegant Italian finishes, crystal chandeliers, designer wall coverings and exotic rugs, guests will enjoy numerous female-empowered activations at the weekend long anniversary celebration. “I couldn’t be happier to celebrate the store’s milestone with the women who have supported my store along the way and are the reason why it’s been so successful to this day,” said Michelle. “I’m constantly inspired by and eternally grateful for their ongoing support.”

Friday, April 27 from 4 pm to 7 pm
The anniversary festivities will kick-off on the evening of Friday, April 27, with a Lips and Sips pop up, where guests will enjoy makeup touch ups with beloved local beauty brand Beauty For Real and premium French rosé compliments of Villa Riviera.

Saturday, April 28 from 10 am to 7 pm (Panel at 2 p.m.)
The in-store celebration will continue the following day with a Women Trailblazers panel, featuring local female entrepreneurs and designers who have made an impact in their respective industries. The interactive panel includes Beauty For Real founder and celebrity makeup artist Leslie Munsell and Miami lifestyle blogger, Brickellista File’s Evelyn Torres alongside Lilac And Lilies founder Michelle DiMarco. After the Q&A session, guests will have their portraits drawn by a live sketch artist.

Sunday, April 29 from noon to 2 pm
The three-day event will conclude on Sunday with a custom perfume-making bar hosted by the Air Essentials fragrance company and premium French rosé bar compliments of Villa Riviera. To complete the ultimate anniversary weekend experience, attendees will be treated to 15% off all
merchandise.

candy tong lilac and lilies

Name: Candy Tong
Company: Professional Ballerina with Complexions Contemporary Ballet
Age: 22
Instagram: @candytong12
Website: www.candytong.live

How did you get to where you are today?
Like many other professional ballerinas, I began dancing when I was 3 years old. My parents threw me in every curricular activity possible as a child to find out what I truly enjoyed doing. A long side dance, I spent most of my childhood playing competitive soccer, basketball, and even drawing.  I found my love for dance at a young age of 9. I knew then that being a professional ballerina is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I began my professional training at San Francisco Ballet where I soon soared through the levels and was appointed lead roles in performances not only in the school, but also with the company. I was the youngest and tallest (haha) ‘Clara’ at the age of 11 in San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker. Because a dancer’s schedule is so rigorous and time consuming, I began to tackle more academic work on my own. Starting from fifth grade I joined an independent schooling program where I was able to advance with my school work. As an end result, I was able to complete high school two years early with Dean’s Honor List and other academic achievements. The purpose of this was so that I could spend more time training in the studio perfecting my craft. I even traveled all over the country to train with the most prestigious and renowned teachers/mentors to get the best possible training. A long side, I competed in many state and world competitions. I was crowned Miss Dance of California in 2013 and was later placed as third runner up for the title of Miss Dance of America. My first big move as an “adult” was at the sweet age of 16; then I joined the Professional Division at Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle. The following year, I made a bolder and bigger move across the pond to London, England. I found a new home with the English National Ballet School where I experienced my first big tour with a professional company. I was able to travel all over Europe performing ballets that I have been dreaming for so long. I was living my fairytale, but of course like any other dancer something was bound to go wrong. I dealt with my first serious injury. I fractured my right metatarsal which kept me out of dancing for half a year. As exaggerated as this may seem, it felt like my world ended. I chose to take a break from the professional dance world and attended college at University of California, Irvine where I deferred my first year to dance in London. I knew I still wanted to continue to pursue my dance career, but always wanted to achieve my degree while doing so. With that mindset, I again was extremely motivated in school and repeatedly completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance in just 2 ½ years. During my time at college, I was the youngest to be placed in the highest levels for all dance categories; ballet, modern, and jazz. Because I was able to complete all my credits within my first year, I was allowed to travel during my time at school to audition and perform for professional dance companies. By the end of my second year I took a quarter away from school to dance with Complexions Contemporary Ballet at their annual gala performance in NYC. From there I knew, that this is the company I wanted to dance for. So here I am one year later, dancing with my dream company in my dream city. There has been many ups and downs in my career that has led me to this place. I believe that with a strong will and mind, you can accomplish any goal and dream you have your heart set on.

candy tong lilac and lilies

What is your elevator pitch on what you do?
I giggled when I read this question because sometimes I feel like just the title “professional ballerina” is enough of an elevator pitch. This career is so rare and unique that when I meet new people or introduce myself as one, the reactions I receive are priceless. They think I’m some graceful yet strong mystical athlete.

How do you define success? Do you consider yourself “successful”?
My definition of success determines on my happiness. Knowing that what you are doing whether in your career or any activity in your every day life is helping you and others lead a better and happier life is successful to me. Live your life in a way where that causes you to feel little pain and a lot of pleasure. I think I’m successful in terms of my own definition, but I am and will always be striving for success. There’s so many things in life I want to accomplish and be “successful” at.

What have been some of the most rewarding things in your career thus far?
The biggest reward thus far would have to be joining my dream company, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, this year. I’ve worked so hard all my life and have been through a roller coaster ride with my career as well with injuries, rejections, and failures. But I’ve learned to trust the process and believe that everything is supposed to happen for a reason. So therefore, I am extremely thankful for where I am today.

candy tong lilac and lilies

What have been some of your mistakes? What have you learned from them?
This may sound crazy to many, but I wish I spent more time in the studio perfecting other dance forms. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a mistake, but I wish I had taken hip hop, ballroom, and even musical theatre more seriously. Nowadays young dancers are perfectionists in all genres. They are triple threats and to be able to get a job nowadays, you must be diverse.

What do you still want to achieve personally and/or professionally?
I hope to make a name for myself not just in the dance world, but in everything that I do whether it’s as an influencer, a blogger, or in my career after dance. I want to live a life where I can feel fulfilled and live knowing that I’ve been able to do everything that I’ve ever imagined.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?
My greatest inspiration is my mother. My mom is my number 1 fan, supporter, and best friend. She’s seen me at my worst and at my best. I received my passion, dedication, and discipline from her. She’s inspired me to never give up on my dreams whether realistic or not attainable. My mother is an absolute god (*says all daughters and sons*)!

When was the last time you were overwhelmed and cried from something provoked by work?
I’m not sure if I get overwhelmed much, but I do get frustrated especially if you are somewhat as a perfectionist like me. I am stubborn and if I don’t get something perfect, I usually will think that I’m bad at my craft as silly as that sounds. I’m a strong tough cookie and don’t cry often from my work. But if I do, it’s probably because I’m seriously injured!

How has your career affected your personal life/relationships?
I think my career as a ballerina has actually helped me in my personal life. I am a social butterfly and love to meet new people on the daily. It’s amazing to have both a group of dancers as friends and the mechanical, tech geniuses, writer/etc. group of non-dancers. It balances out my world and helps me live a well-rounded life. As for relationships, it’s not an easy thing I must say. I’m a very independent lady and enjoy being busy 24/7 which is why I strongly believe NYC is my city. My schedule is usually crazy where I am often traveling/ touring and or working during the weekends which allows for no “play” time. But for me right now, I enjoy my job so much that I am not too worried about having a relationship right now.

candy tong lilac and lilies
Have you ever thought about giving up? What provokes those thoughts?
Definitely!! After my serious injury when I was in London, my mindset completely flipped 180 degrees. I immediately thought about quitting dance and believed that I wasn’t meant for the dance world. It’s crazy to think that one injury can evolve to these kinds of thoughts. The reason to this is because we spend so much time, effort, money and energy to our craft and that if we get injured we feel and think as though we’ve been set back 2 years behind. As a dancer you are always replaceable (like any other field of course). But since this dance world is so cut throat, I feel as though It is more painful to go through.

What causes you anxiety/sleepless nights?
I don’t get anxiety, but I usually get a lot of adrenaline or excitement before and after a show which causes sleepless nights. I love performing and I love being on stage which gets me so happy and tireless.

What makes you happy?
SO MANY things can make me happy! It’s the little things that bring me joy. Of course, nailing my performances will make me exuberated, but also even seeing someone on the street perform a good deed for another person will give me the same feeling. I am just a very happy and good-spirited person!

What advice would you tell your 21 year old self?
I graduated from when I was 21 years old and was dealing with the transition into adult life. I would tell myself to not give up and to trust the process. I learned it later on, but wish I believed in it earlier. Like I mentioned above, everything does happen for a reason and you just have to believe that. Each let down, each rejection, each “failure” is leading to something great and something you have been achieving for years.

What is the biggest misconception about what you do?
A huge way to get any dancer mad is to tell them that “dance is easy.” Especially as a college dance major, hearing this made me irritated. If dance were so “easy,” everyone could have a profession in it.

What is your favorite quote?
“Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later.” – Bob Goff

 

Name: Angela Birdman
Occupation/Company: Philanthropist/Founder- Walk In Style For The Animals
Instagram: @walkinstyle_fta @anglbrd

How did you get to where you are today?
I have always been philanthropic, but after my children were grown and entered college, I found myself with more free time.  I took this time to immerse myself into causes I am passionate about – animals, individuals with special needs, and the arts.

What is your elevator pitch on what you do?
I don’t work for a living, I work on making the world a better place for those in need.

How do you define success?
Success to me is when I hear we raised enough money to send the Special Olympic Athletes from Miami-Dade to nationals to compete.  Success is seeing that pup I took from Miami Dade Animal Shelter (MDAS) get released from the hospital, her hair grown back, and finding out she has found her forever home.  Success is knowing a talented young artist will have a scholarship from our fundraising efforts and be able to follow their dreams and inspire us all with their work.  Success is good health, love, and lots of laughter in my life.


What have been some of the most rewarding things in your career thus far?
Some of the most rewarding things?  I think I just mentioned some them in my definition of success. Walk In Style For The Animals and the community response to this event has been extremely rewarding.  Hearing that something I am doing is inspiring others is an incredibly rewarding feeling.  But outside of those, seeing my sons grow into the amazing men they are now has been one of the most rewarding things in my life. I am extremely proud of them and who they have become.

What have been some of the hiccups (mistakes) along the way and what have you learned from them?
I have learned that you must get things in writing, not everyone values commitment as you do.  That was a lesson I sadly had to learn the hard way.  The most important lesson – if you don’t ask, you don’t get!

What do you still want to achieve personally and/or professionally?
I would love to take Walk In Style For The Animals nationwide to be able to reach even more animals in need. I am a huge animal lover.  Animals do not have a voice, we must be their voice and advocate on their behalf.  Educating people on spaying and neutering their pets so we can get the pet population under control and have less animals in our shelters is a longtime wish. Euthanasia of healthy animals in shelters due to overpopulation and a lack of funding and resources is truly heartbreaking.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?
I am honestly inspired everyday by people.  The world has so much negativity as of late, anytime I hear or read about a heroic fireman dying fighting a fire, a soldier killed in the line of duty, a woman rescuing dogs from certain death in China, a boy with special needs who started his own company making socks – this is all incredibly inspiring.  This is probably the most inspiring to me actually – ordinary, everyday people doing their part to make the world a safer and better place or overcoming challenge and accomplishing things no one thought they could. These are truly inspiring people.


What makes you truly, genuinely happy?
Happiness to me is waking up to wet puppy noses on my cheek, spending time in nature, being with my family, laughter with friends, and knowing something I did today made a difference to someone’s life.

What advice would you tell your 21-year-old self?
Don’t do what you think is expected of you – follow your dreams and do what makes you happy!  When you do things that make you happy, everything else falls into place.  Let go of what is not meant for you, so you can make room for what is.

What is the biggest misconception about what you do?
I think it is assumed that I don’t work.  While I don’t have a “job”, I work harder for the causes I am passionate about that I ever did when in the workplace.  My schedule is always full and I am always working on something – oftentimes a few things at once.

Any words of inspiration or your favorite quote?
“You can’t go deep when you are swimming in a shallow pool.”

michelle dimarco

Those of you keeping up with my blog know I recently touched upon the topic of loving yourself. This year, I promised myself one thing: I would love myself unconditionally (quirks, flaws, potty mouth and all) and practice self-care to its fullest. With all this self-acceptance and self-awareness came the realization that I needed to face something I’ve been putting off for far too long: freezing my eggs.

Quite frankly, the thought of freezing my eggs scared the living daylights out of me. While the option for women to freeze their eggs is thrown around far too casually, I knew what going through this process would entail. After doing some research of my own and falling victim to the rabbit hole that is the Internet (WebMD, anyone?), I came to the blunt realization that this process would be anything but easy.

Egg-freezing essentially means doing a round of IVF (short for in vitro fertilization) without the embryo transfer at the end. You first start off by taking 1-2 weeks’ worth of birth control pills to temporarily shut off any natural hormones, followed by 9-10 days of hormone injections. Yes, that’s right: injections. These injections are meant to stimulate your ovaries, stop them from releasing eggs, and then finally, with an ovulation trigger injection, ripen the eggs that’ll be collected with a needle under deep sedation or general anesthesia.

While many women get along with this process just fine and are able to carry on with their daily lives, unfortunately many aren’t. As someone who has health and fitness down pat (or so I’d like to think), I prioritize feeling healthy and strong. As you can imagine, exposing myself to any physical pain wasn’t something I was necessarily looking forward to. Not to mention, egg freezing comes with an incredibly high price tag and no guarantee.

However, just when I thought there was no way I could undergo this process, I kept reminding myself just how much I wanted this. After all, this is something I had thought about for years, not just days. The reality is I’m in my upper 30s and single. I was constantly worried about how the sell-by-date on my ovaries might not exactly fit in with my future plans to have kids. So, scared out of my mind but clinging onto how badly I wanted to have the option of being a mom someday, I underwent the process.

Was it pleasant? No. Was it worth it? Abso-freakin-lutely.  As soon as it was done, I was overcome by an overwhelming sense of peace. For the first time in what seemed like forever, I stopped hearing the ticking of my biological clock in the back of my head— tick, tock, tick, tock… I felt as though I could truly relax without having to worry about never being able to have kids of my own. This sense of relief alone made the choice and investment to freeze my eggs priceless.

With that being said, I’m not 100% sure I’ll ever use my frozen eggs. For all I know, I could meet my prince charming tomorrow, get married and have little Michelles running around. But, should life continue taking me in the direction it’s headed (hey, no complaints! I love the life I’ve created for myself), my eggs will be there for me to use.

All in all, I couldn’t be happier to have frozen my eggs. The whole experience was very empowering for me as a woman. I know now that I will never have to sacrifice having a family or being a mom, and there’s something pretty damn powerful about taking control of your own future.

Let’s be real, music festivals have always been about the music, but in recent years, the fashion has become just as much (if not more) of a talking point. Festival season can be seriously tricky to dress for. You want to look cool and stylish, but you do have to consider battling the elements as you never know if it will be sun or showers.

Tick tock! Tortuga is this weekend and Coachella is right around the corner. Did you think I would leave you ladies hanging? This week we hung out with Deco Drive and dished on what’s hot in festival fashion.

From the Fort Lauderdale sand to the Cali dessert, Lilac And Lilies has all of the essentials you need to create a festival-ready look. Here’s the skinny:

  • You can’t go wrong with a bohemian vibe or a rock and roll look at a festival. Well, actually, you can. My rule of thumb: pick one trendy piece and mix it with basics from your closet and you’ll look like you’re just that cool. I love this Suburban Riot tee paired with our pleated gingham skirt from Lost and Wonder. festival outfit Suburban Riot Lost and Wonder
  • Festival season is no time for blending in. Calling all free-spirited babes, you’re going to love this floral, bohemian-inspired get up from Elan USA. festival look Elan USA
  • Forgo your basic crop in favor of a trendy bikini top. We love this lace up accent by Blue Life paired with the perfect denim shorts by One Teaspoon. Accent the look with an edgy accessory or two and you’re good to go.festival outfit Blue Life One Teaspoon
  • This Velvet Heart denim shirt is easy to wear and looks good with everything! Complete the look with a playful pomp om skirt by Mink Pink. festival outfit Velvet Heart denim shirt
  • Dance ‘til dawn in festival fave Blank NYC overalls, which offer the perfect contrast when paired with our Blue Life bikini top. festival outfit Blank NYC overalls

Stop in before Tortuga, and make sure you check out the full Festival Looks segment on Deco Drive.

XO
Michelle

march-events-featuredJoin us at Lilac And Lilies for an eventful April! Please see our event schedule below. Please note, event details are subject to change. Please call the store at 954.530.3109 for questions.


April 7

Markdowns & Mimosas

  • Additional 10% off already reduced items
  • Mimosas while you shop

 

 

April 8

Miami Bloggers Pool Party & Networking Event

 


April 27 – 29

9th Anniversary Celebration

A weekend-long event celebrating nine years of amazing women who kept the Lilac And Lilies brand strong. The anniversary celebration will include fun female empowered activations, light bites and bubbly, an interactive panel of local trailblazers and a tribute to the boutique’s longstanding presence in the community.

  • Storewide discounts
  • Friday: makeup station, cocktail bar
  • Saturday: trailblazers panel, sips & light bites
  • Sunday: Perfume bar, mimosas & brunch bites

easter sale spring new arrivals

The hunt is on at our Easter sale! Thursday 3/29 through Saturday 3/31 we’re having an Easter Egg Hunt. Find an Easter egg hidden around the clothing store and bring it to the register for a surprise Easter sale discount! Plus, enjoy complimentary cupcakes and a signature cocktail while you shop. Visit us on Instagram for all the latest Spring new arrivals.

Please note we will be open Saturday till 7pm, and closed Easter Sunday.

Sydney Weiss 

Name: Sydney Weiss
Company: Seek The Joy Podcast
Age: 27
Instagram: seekthejoypod_
Website: www.seekthejoypodcast.com

How did you get to where you are today?
Growing up self-love wasn’t in my vocabulary, and I never knew how to show myself unconditional love and compassion. I’ve always been someone that feels everything, and I struggled as a kid and well into my early 20’s. I never knew how to set good emotional boundaries, the idea of vulnerability freaked me out, and I defined my self-worth based on external achievements. My “work hard, don’t play” mentality (I’m pretty sure I just made that up) ran me into the ground. I had no idea what I loved or what brought me joy, and for a long time I thought it was something I had to work really hard for. I wanted to live a joyful and balanced life with greater fulfillment, fun, and adventure. I had no idea how to get there, how to access that joy, and how to make it part of who I am.

In September 2017 I realized it was time to figure out my joy, and I created Seek The Joy Podcast while I was waiting for California bar exam results the second time.

In 2016, one month before I graduated from law school, I had shingles. I sat for the bar exam that summer, and after an intense 10 weeks of studying and anxiety I wore my mind, body, and spirit out. Two months later I had appendicitis, and I was so fatigued I barely recognized myself anymore. When I found I didn’t pass the bar exam I was mean to myself, angry, disappointed, ashamed, and I let negative self-talk take control. It was clear to me that after months (if not years) of not listening to my body, I needed to rest, reflect, and change my mindset and how I spoke to myself.

Over the next year I took care of my health and I started listening and trusting my intuition more. I slowly let go of negative self-talk, I made balance a priority, found refuge in long walks and mantras, and I learned to lean on myself more. I slowly started to shift my perspective from anger to self-love, and over the next nine months I noticed an obvious difference in how I spoke to myself and others.

I sat for the bar exam again the following summer and this time I passed. While I was waiting for bar results I spent a lot of time reflecting on the last year. I remember sitting in my room and experiencing this burst of inspiration. I knew I wanted to start a conversation and create a way to connect with others who had similar experiences. I wanted to build a community and a space to share personal stories, explore what brings us joy, and learn and grow through stepping into our vulnerability and courage. More than that, I wanted to create a space to remind us all that we’re not alone.

It all clicked – I was going to start a podcast, and it was going to be called Seek The Joy Podcast. One night I created a plan and before I knew it I was sitting in front of my computer with a microphone about to hit record.

I really believe that getting knocked down, and learning how to pick myself back up, is how I got to where I am today. If I had passed the bar exam the first time I wouldn’t have learned to slow down and be kinder, gentler, and more compassionate to myself. I wouldn’t be who I am today, and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have felt the inspiration to start Seek The Joy Podcast. It’s through discomfort and uncertainty that we grow so much stronger than we would without those challenges. I’m grateful for the roadblocks that I’ve turned into stepping stones.

What is your elevator pitch on what you do?
Seek The Joy Podcast is a community of women and men who are willing to step outside of their comfort zones, show up for themselves, and share their personal stories of joy, struggle, and triumph. Through heartfelt storytelling, every episode features conversations focused on stepping into our authenticity, building up our self-love muscles, discovering our paths, following our passions, choosing love, and seeking joy.


How do you define success? Do you consider yourself “successful”?
For me success is taking risks, putting myself out there, and owning my vulnerability. It’s about being unconditionally proud of myself and not fearing those emotional risks. I’d also have to say when someone says, “I’ve been listening to your podcast and it’s had such a strong impact of my life” or “I recommended your podcast to a friend.” To hear that what I’ve built and created resonates with someone – that to me is success.

What have been some of the most rewarding things in your career thus far?
First of all, graduating from law school and passing the California bar exam. I’m really proud of those accomplishments. I’m really passionate about our environment and being part of the solution to the climate crisis, and I’ve had the opportunity to work on some exciting and rewarding environmental campaigns and projects. I’m really looking forward to what comes next in that part of my career.
Without a doubt it’s been incredibly rewarding creating, developing, and launching Seek The Joy Podcast. I’ve built this platform all by myself and to do this alone has given me such a sense of accomplishment. I’m really proud of the community it’s inspiring and creating, and I feel so connected to my listeners around the world.

What have been some of your mistakes? What have you learned from them?
First, making decisions and rushing into things before I took time to evaluate if it was a good fit. Second, not listening to and trusting my intuition. I made both of these mistakes when I first started the podcast. It’s been important for me to slow down so that I can catch myself before I act before thinking or go against that gut feeling.
I’ve learned:
It’s okay to say no – you can’t please everyone.
Make your boundaries known, especially to yourself.
Celebrate every stage of your journey.
Before making a decision and saying “yes!” take time to really think it through.
Slow growth is growth – always.
Don’t compare yourself to anyone but you.

What do you still want to achieve personally and/or professionally?
I’m excited to see Seek The Joy Podcast continue to grow, and I’d love for it to become a household name and instantly recognizable. I’m working on creating ways to connect with this community in person, and I’d love to be able to do that through live podcast recordings and events. I have dreams of writing a book, traveling the world (especially Australia, Italy, England, Switzerland, Hungary and France), living and working in another country, learning French, and diving head first into astrology. More than anything, I want to use my experiences and what I’ve learned to heal myself and others. I grew up with a lisp and embarrassed by my voice, and without even realizing it Seek The Joy Podcast has helped me heal. If I can do the same for someone else, that’s the kind of impact I want to have.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?
There are so many people who have inspired me, and I’d have to say Brené Brown is definitely at the top of that list. I was first introduced to Brené and her work on courage, vulnerability, and shame in 2012. She pretty much changed my life. Her willingness to dive deep into her own shame gave me permission to do the same. Her bravery and vulnerability deeply impacted me to the point where I was incorporating her research and teachings without even realizing it. I’ve always struggled with vulnerability, and the idea of being really seen and really heard scared the crap out of me. I’ve always been someone who’s sat on the sidelines, poking my head out from time to time when I felt it was safe, but never willing to jump head first into the deep end. Last year something changed, and now that I think about it I really owe that to Brené and the incredible woman who first introduced her to me.

How has your career affected your personal life/relationships?
The path I’ve taken with my career has changed my personal life and relationships for the better. Through all of the changes and the ups and downs I’ve learned so much about life, how I relate to others, and how to treat myself with more kindness and compassion. That kindness and compassion has definitely generalized into relationships with family and friends too. Every conversation with a guest or someone who listens to and loves the podcast has impacted me in a positive way. My attitude towards my life has shifted, and I feel more hopeful and more inspired than ever before.

Have you ever thought about giving up? What provokes those thoughts?
I’ve been knocked down more times than I can count but I’ve never thought about giving up. I’ve had moments of doubt where I question why I’m doing this podcast and sharing so much of myself. I’ve learned to push past those moments of insecurity and come back to why I started the podcast in the first place. Plus, there’s a whole book of my life still to write! I decided a long time ago I wasn’t going to stop after the first chapter.

What causes you anxiety/sleepless nights?
Uncertainty and not knowing what’s next has brought me a lot of anxiety, discomfort, fear, and resistance. I’m learning to embrace and sit with that discomfort instead of fighting it. I’m learning to trust more and to trust that not knowing what’s next is okay, that unease is part of the process, and that I’ll figure it all out. Sometimes we underestimate just how resilient and capable we are, and I’m guilty of that too. The waiting and the in-between all serves a purpose, even when we can’t see it yet. Despite the anxiety and unease, I’m learning to trust the process and celebrate every part of my journey.

What makes you happy?
That feeling when you’re standing on the beach and the waves are crashing up against your feet. I could (and do) stand there for hours, it’s my absolute favorite.

What advice would you tell your 21 year old self?
First, breathe. Second, don’t feel so rushed to have it all figured out. It’s okay that you feel lost and uncertain. Take some time to discover who you are and what you love before you make your next move.

What is the biggest misconception about what you do?
People think that because I have a podcast about seeking joy that means I’m joyful and happy all the time. I’m on a joy seeking journey but I’m human! Not every day is a good day. The key has been learning to embrace and accept those difficult moments and emotions so that I can come back to my joy.

What is your favorite quote?
“Stay patient and trust your journey.” This quote has been my iPhone background since 2014 and it’s my daily reminder to not freak out! Everything will work out the way that it’s supposed to and when it’s supposed to.

michelle dimarco

Although it may not seem like right now, summer is right around the corner. With the arrival of the sweltering heat will come the days of sleeveless tops, short shorts and well, you guessed it: bikinis. That’s right, the highly dreaded bikini season is upon us, which you’re probably well aware of thanks to that itty-bitty bikini set taunting you from your chest of drawers.

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to look good this summer, you shouldn’t miss out on the fun pool parties and boat days just because you don’t want to show some skin. Us women are too quick to shame our own bodies, when all our hips and curves really need is just some little TLC.

This year, I want to share my tips and tricks with you all on how I take spring cleaning to a whole new level. Not the normal extravagant cleaning of my closet, but the spring cleaning of myself. My mind. My body. My soul.

It’s important to realize that detoxing is not about changing your body. Rather, it’s about changing your lifestyle to feel more confident in your own skin, no matter what you are (or aren’t) wearing. Regardless of your age and lifestyle, detoxing is beneficial for EVERYONE. It’s not a one-time fix, but more of a kick-start to taking care of yourself for the long haul.

I know changing habits can be challenging, but the results are always well worth it. Look at it this way- if we aren’t challenging ourselves, are we truly reaching our greatest potential? Probably not. So, let’s start looking at spring as our time to push ourselves to be the best version of ourselves possible.

These are my fail-proof tips to not only looking good, but FEELING even better:

1. WATER. WATER. WATER. Remember when your mom used to tell you to drink 8 cups of water a day? Well, she wasn’t kidding. Not only are the health benefits of drinking water endless, but it’ll make your skin look radiant. If you’re someone who doesn’t like drinking plain water (trust me, I get it), I recommend infusing it with tasty natural ingredients like lemon, kiwi and mint.

2. Get on your feet! I absolutely LOVE the feeling after an amazing workout class. Orange Theory and Flywheel have been my saviors. These classes break up the usual routine of going to the gym and using the machines by yourself.

3. What you put in, is what you will get out. If you’re putting foods in your body that are filled with carbs and unnecessary sugars and/or fats, you’re not going to feel so good. For me, eating lean proteins gives me the satisfaction of feeling full along with the incredible benefits of eating clean.

4. Get hot and steamy… with The Yoga Joint. What else would I be talking about?! Doing yoga in a heated room forces the heart to beat faster, which gives you an amazing cardio workout in addition to sweating out all of the toxins in your body!

5. Last, and most importantly, rid yourself of toxic people! Surround yourself with people who want you to succeed. That crew is the one you’ll want by your side all spring (and summer) long.

By following the tips above, you’ll successfully shift your focus this spring and turn your dial towards YOU. If that means reading more, meditating, or even a walk on the beach, do it. Whatever makes your soul flourish, commit to it.

Here’s to all the rose we’ll be drinking poolside looking caliente and feeling the most confident we ever have in our bikinis!

Xoxo,
Michelle