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

Since I became an entrepreneur, people always ask me, “how do you deal with the pressure, people, challenges, relationships, family, etc.?” The answer is, I don’t . At least, not all at once.

When I began my journey as a small business owner, it felt like the entire world was on my shoulders. I was dealing with the stress of becoming an entrepreneur, figuring out finances, challenging myself personally, maintaining relationships with friends, family, and a significant other, all while making sure I look fantastic every day (look good = feel good, right?).

I hate to break it to you (and myself), but those pressures never stopped. I still deal with them to this day. The only thing that has changed is how I go about dealing with them.

I’m a fashion girl, I always have been. So I had to make this work in my Louboutin loving brain. I made shoe compartments. Hypothetically. Okay, I made shoes for my brain. Am I sounding crazy yet? I used compartmentalization to cope with everything that was going on around me. I imagined my brain to look like a free-standing shoe compartment with a pair of shoes in each slot that represented a part of my life.

Cue inner-voice:

“Let’s put my family shoes next to my boyfriend shoes….hmm no, that’s too risky. I’ll put my boyfriend shoes next to stressing-about-finances shoes! No, that doesn’t seem right either.”

I decided that no matter where the shoes were placed in my compartment, I would only wear one pair at a time, hence dealing with one issue at a time. Essentially, I made time for myself to deal with every single one of the stresses in my life, but never had to deal with them all at once.

The reason I’ve seen my business grow with success and my personal life flourish is because I recognized and embraced the fact that I had several full-time focuses, but only a limited amount of emotional and mental energy to devote to each one. With this tactic, I never really felt burnt out or on “E”. There’s not enough tea or yoga in the world to make my problems go away, so I decided to rock a pair of my “shoes” for only short amounts of time so I can continue walking- strutting my stuff through life.

How to do this for yourself? You, my sweet reader, are going to be okay. Follow these 5 steps:
1. Visualize your shoe compartment. Isolate each pair of shoes (issues) from each other.
2. When you wear a pair of your shoes, really focus on it, but only for a short amount of time.
3. Take baby steps. Don’t jump too far ahead the second you start to see progress.
4. Take the shoes off, stretch, put the next pair on.
5. Say “no” to a pair of shoes that doesn’t deserve a compartment on your brain.

“Life is short. We can live it lost in our own thoughts, or we can choose to be present, moment to moment, watching as life unfolds around us.” -Headspace

xoxo,
Michelle

I have a love for many things. Wine, clothes, Chanel and puppies, but my love for traveling solo is one that can’t be compared. You might be thinking “Oh hell no. I can barely go shopping by myself.” Fair enough! It’s a scary thought, but have you ever considered embracing the challenge and learning more about yourself in the process? I can attest, it’s pretty amazing.

Traveling with people gives you laughs, memories and a deeper connection. So, you’re wondering, how could traveling by yourself even compare? What if I told you that those memories and those laughs by yourself are way better? Girl, I know it sounds crazy, but trust me.

I have memories of extraordinary, eye-opening solo trips that no one will ever get to fully understand because it was MY experience.

Not only did I find that traveling alone wasn’t sad or worthy of someone’s sympathy, but it was also the trips on which I learned the most about myself and the world. I didn’t have anyone telling me what to do or begging me to try that one thing. It was just me and my experience. There is something so beautiful about that.

There are a ton of reasons why people might travel alone – they might want to do a little soul searching or need some time away from everyday life. I have traveled around the freaking globe by myself and each trip has served a different purpose.

I traveled to Thailand for a spiritual journey where I visited an orphanage and rode on the back of an elephant through the river. Who else can say that? That trip was one I will never forget and taught me so much Yes, I was scared of the unknown and putting myself out of my comfort zone, but I did it. I now have memories in pictures that you can see but only I can relive.

I journeyed through Europe just to, well, live it up… literally. I call Europe my party place. I am by no means a crazy partier. Let’s be real, I’m in bed at 9 p.m. most nights. I do, however, like to occasionally treat myself to a good time, and Europe is just the place for that. Yes, I may have skinny dipped at a secluded beach on the Amalfi coast, and that’s perfectly fine. I embraced living in the moment.

Traveling alone can be a whirlwind of unexpected emotions. I’ve been in many situations during my travels where I have been scared, lonely, uncertain and frustrated. What is important about those moments is that I got through them. Most importantly, I got through them alone. If it had not been for those times when I felt afraid or homesick, I might not have the same outlook on life I hold now.

Whenever I think there is something I can’t accomplish, I look back on those times I was alone and uncertain, but found my way through it.
After traveling through countries where nothing seems familiar, not knowing a single word of the language and finding your way through foreign streets to a beautiful destination, you will realize there is nothing in this world you cannot do.

I love that saying “What will you do with your crazy and beautiful life?” I can look back and say “I wasn’t afraid of taking chances, I learned to love myself and took a leap of faith.” Can you say the same? I challenge you to book that trip you have been dreaming of and stop waiting on your girls or your man to say yes. Just do it. By yourself.

Have you taken a solo trip? I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments below!

new years resolutions tips

It’s hard to believe we only have a few days left in 2017! I always take some time during the last week to reflect on the resolutions I made the previous year and come up with some goals for the year ahead.

This is a clean slate. A FRESH START! You can make a promise to yourself to get healthier, chase a dream, turn a hobby into a job or cross off some of the bucket list items you’ve been sitting on. Feeling motivated?

Forewarning, there will always be the run of the mill resolutions like dieting, not cussing (sorry, but no can do), less shopping, more exercise that trip you up. How many times can you say you’ve actually stood by a resolution and finished strong? I will be the first one to admit my track record is not squeaky clean…

The problem is most of us set new year’s resolutions that will fizzle out of existence in a matter of weeks. Sometimes we might set the bar too high or pile on too many resolutions to realistically maintain. This year I’m challenging myself and YOU to make it happen. Below are a few steps I’m following to keep with my goals in 2018. I hope they can do the same for you!

#1 Start Small

We have all been there – excited about the new year and SO over the past year. We are ready for our “New Year, New You” moment. We start thinking of all the resolutions that could really make a change and a difference in our lives. That’s your first mistake, sweetie. If you set TOO MANY goals, you run the risk of having TOO MANY things to work, which results in just about nothing. Start with one or two SMALL resolutions in January and then add another when February comes (should everything be going just peachy). The more you see positive results, the more motivation you’ll have to keep it up.

#2 Morning Glory

Oh…that resolution. The resolution to workout at least once a day or get up and do something active. Who has made that resolution to eventually see it vanish in the second week of January (slowly raising my hand to this)? It’s harder to make a decision to do anything in the evening after we have worked all day, made dinner for the family or something else came up like happy hour at that chic new spot downtown (usually my case). My advice? Start your new year’s resolution in the morning. Trust me, I know it’s not easy to get up and get going at 5 a.m., but girl, once you’re up you will feel so proud… the coffee helps too.

#3 Accountability is a Thing

We all have that girlfriend who knows the entire you and knows your downfalls. What better way to stick with your resolutions than having an accountability partner? I’ve had those moments when I’m ready to give up or cheat (looking at you cupcakes), BUT my girls made sure I stuck to my promises and reminded me of end goal I had set. All the wants, the needs and the excuses are no match when your girlfriends are on the case!

So, with all that said… what resolutions are you making this year? Happy New Year everyone!

If you’re anything like me, you have an ongoing Pinterest board of ideas flowing for how to get ready for the holidays. Now that Florida has finally hit below 70 degrees, it’s officially, official. It’s often second nature to grab the tubs of decorations stored in the garage or the dreaded closet full of stuff and slap your decor up in the usual places. It’s okay—we’ve all been there. Some of us just need some inspiration to get our creative decorating wheels turning.

Last year, I was invited to a quaint dinner and I still cannot believe how amazing the tablescaping was. Yes, you heard right. Tablescaping, as in the act of creatively arranging a tabletop so that it conveys a specific theme, mood and experience. The tablescaping at this dinner was not only absolutely jaw-dropping, but it set the tone for a wonderful evening and left me feeling inspired.

Now, before some of you hesitate and think “Michelle, I don’t have a luxurious dining table,” rest reassured that won’t be a problem. These tablescaping ideas are suitable for all tables, large or small, tall or short.

Table Runner
First things first: the table runner. Protect your table and make a gorgeous statement. Steer clear of your mother’s plaid hand-me-down and use a jute embroidered burlap table runner. Its rustic touch will pair beautifully with a sparkling Christmas table and will warm up the table with its tree-shaped accents.

holiday tablescape 2

Fire logs
If you’re thinking of implementing fire logs into your table design, I recommend placing tea light candles on top for a dazzling touch. Wooden logs, adorned with garland (or even palm fonds for my fellow Floridians) and pinecones add a festive charm to a table dominated by high-spirited conversation.

holiday tablescape 3

Lanterns
Lanterns are an excellent way to decorate your table. The looks are truly endless, but I recommend filling your lanterns with stringed fairy lights to bring the wonder of the wintry season.

holiday tablescape 4

Ornaments
Christmas ornaments don’t just belong on the tree. Bring your table to life by sprinkling a few glitter ornaments around the table or filling a platter to make a shining centerpiece.

holiday tablescape 5

Name Cards
Make your guests feel like the true VIPs that they are by using name card placements. For a traditional feel, use deliciously smelling rosemary wreaths.

holiday tablescape 6

Ta-da! You now have your glitzy tablescape ready for your next holiday party. Cheers to that and cheers to you!

Click here for even more amazing holiday tablescape inspiration.

 

Image Sources:
Napkins: https://www.hometalk.com/11413161/no-sew-fringe-napkins
Log Centerpiece: http://diyjoy.com/diy-christmas-centerpieces
Fairy Lights: http://everydayled.com/item/outdoor-led-lights/solar-powered-string-light-amir-100-leds-starry-string-lights-copper-wire-lights-ambiance-lighting-for-outdoor-gardens-homes-dancing-christmas-partywarm-white
Bowl Centerpiece: http://www.countryliving.com/diy-crafts/g644/christmas-tables-1208/
Place Cards: https://camillestyles.com/living/diy/rosemary-wreath-place-cards/

Hello, Jetsetters! It’s our favorite time of year when temperatures start to drop and leaves start to turn but it seems like South Florida didn’t get the memo! If you’re over the summer and ready for sweater weather, here are a few destinations we’ve rediscovered thank you to Jettsetter.com. Don’t be fooled though! You might be thinking, “New York?  Really?” But we’re not sending you to Times Square or Central Park. Read up for the most under-the-radar locales in the most on-the-radar cities.

New York, New York

With its lavish style, New York City is a sought-out destination, especially for the fall and winter seasons. Think crisp and cool and cue your favorite seasonal outfits. We suggest a brisk walk under the fall foliage at the Conservatory Garden and dress for the occasion with our knee-high suede boots. You will still look stylish with comfort at your feet. Eat your way through the Gotham West Kitchen, a one-of-a-kind communal dining hall inspired by Hell’s Kitchen and serving up food favorites from around the globe, with our burgundy knit top, leather skirt and leather blocked jacket. Where to stay? The Upper East Side always earns rave reviews and our favorite is the Carlyle, an elegant boutique hotel with Central Park-facing rooms.

Greenville, South Carolina

A serene, sylvan setting makes Greenville, SC a surprising new hot spot which attracts all ages and therefore makes this one of our top seasonal destinations. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, a foodie or an art lover, there’s no shortage of things to do in Greenville. Whether you want to go explore the downtown streets in your chic attire or hike up mountains (which are literally minutes away!) the style here is faultless. Head over to the Dark Corner Distillery in our floral maxi paired with our crisscross knit sweater to add flare and elegance or dress up your look with our suede heel bootie. Enjoy fine dining in High Cotton with restaurants that boast international flare before retreating to the Aloft Greenville Downtown or the for an unmatched experience. With an assortment of options to choose from, Greenville, SC is a destination you must add to your list this season.

Denver, Colorado

If you’re like so done with the East Coast, head on over to the Rockies for the 47th Annual Oktoberfest.  The six-day festival, known for its classic German brews, is one of the best in the country. Pair this event with our turtle-neck tank, destressed jeans cozied up with our fitted denim jacket dressed with pearls. For a family-friendly affair, take the tykes for a trip through the eight-acre corn maze at Chatfield Farms, and snap an Insta with Mother Nature.  Since it won’t be snowing yet, enjoy a relaxing stay at The Crawford Hotel, located inside the landmark 1881 Denver Union Station.  The hotel rooms feature an Art Deco and Victorian fusion as well as exposed brick walls and 14-foot ceilings for modern luxury.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson what? You heard me…Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This gem has stolen my heart for many reasons. It doesn’t surprise me one bit that this destination spot was included in the “Best Places to Travel in 2017” by Thrillist Travel. Its picturesque views, crisp air, and amazing atmosphere are untouched. If you are wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of life, this place will make you feel one with yourself while you take in the scenic nature. Hike up to Snow King Mountain, which towers over the little town of Jackson or get your boots on and dance the night away at Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. Not into dancing? Take a stroll on Jackson Town square in our purple maxi, knee-high suede boots and light army jacket. The bulk of Jackson’s shops, restaurants and bars are located around Town Square, making it a shopper’s dream. Log cabins lie nestled alongside modern western architecture and high-end boutiques. Stay at the historic Hotel Jackson which blends contemporary western history with rustic designs or the Rustic Inn Creekside Resort & Spa for a luxury boutique cabin experience.

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Do You Ever Lay In Your Comfy Bed On Your Mac Book For Hours

Looking At Posts On Social Media And You End Up On Your Friends, Best Friends Instagram Page?

You Then Decide To Click On Her Blog & See All These Yummy *Healthy* Recipes

{Drooling!!}

Well That Is My Current Situation & I Had To Share!

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Spicy Barbecue Chicken Wings

Perfect For Super Bowl Sunday!

New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons

February 5, 2017 @ 6:30 PM

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INGREDIENTS

SPICY BARBEQUE SAUCE

1/2 white onion, chopped
2 cloves, chopped
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp chipotle chilli powder
1/2 can beer (I used Bud Light)

WINGS

about 18 wings and drumsticks

RECIPE

Place all of the spicy barbecue sauce ingredients EXCEPT the beer in a high speed blender. Blend for about 90 seconds until everything is completely smooth. Make sure there aren’t any chunks of onion or garlic in the sauce. Pour half of the sauce into a small bowl and set in the refrigerator. Add the 1/2 can of beer into the blender with the other half of the sauce and blend until the beer is incorporated.

In a cock pot (that holds at least 4 quarts), cover the bottom with a few spoons of the beer sauce. Place all of the wings and drumsticks into the crock pot and cover with the rest of the beer sauce. Stir, making sure all of the wings are completely coated in the sauce. Turn the crock pot on high for 2-3 hours.

When the wings are finished cooking, use tongs to remove the wings from a crock pot and place in a separate bowl. Turn off the crock pot, for now. Discard the left over sauce that was used to cook the wings. Rinse the crock pot out and wipe dry.

Optional: If you want to make the wings a little crispy before you coat in the remaining sauce, you have two options: For this batch I made, I heated a griddle to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, used tongs to place the wings down on the griddle, flipped after 2-3 minutes, and removed when both sides were browned. The other option is to place all the wings on a tin foil lined baking sheet and place in the oven at 400 degrees F for 15-25 min, until they start to brown.

Get your other half of the barbecue sauce from the fridge and heat in a sauce pan on medium until it starts to simmer. Remove from heat. If you are ready to serve the wings immediately, you can coat the wings in the sauce and serve! Or, you can place the wings back in the crock pot and coat with the rest of the barbecue sauce, making sure all of the wings are covered. Place the crock pot on the ‘warm’ setting to keep them warm before you serve!

Note: I currently (still) don’t have a working stove, so I wasn’t able to use the stove to heat the sauce. I put the remaining sauce that was in the refrigerator into the crock pot and let warm up in there. I left it on high, covered, for about 15 minutes and it did the trick. Then I added the wings and tossed them for the same result!

Pictures & Recipe Courtesy Of Katharine Agliata

Be Sure To Check Out Her Instagram & Website For More Of Her Amazing Recipes!

@katharinemelody

http://melodyandthyme.com/

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It’s a crazy time of year and we could all use some energy.

Especially during shopping trips & wrapping gifts!

 

No Bake Vanilla Cranberry Energy Bites

(Gluten Free, Nut Free & AIP)

energy

energy-2

Photos Courtesy of Live Naturally Autoimmune

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
2 1/2 teaspoons melted coconut oil
2 1/2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
4 Tbsp dried cranberries

Directions:
1. Place 1 cup of shredded coconut in a food processor along with the coconut oil. Process on high speed, scraping down the sides periodically, until it reaches a paste-like consistency. (It does not have to be completely smooth like butter; some coconut texture is good.)

2.Add the honey, coconut milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and and salt and process until well combined. Add 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of shredded coconut and pulse until just combined. Then add 4 tbsp dried cranberries and pulse until combined.

3.Shape the mixture into 12 (1-inch) balls and coat with the remaining shredded coconut. Refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before eating.

Recipe & Photos Courtesy of Elizabeth from Live Naturally Autoimmune

Be sure to check out her Blog + Instagram for other amazing recipes!

http://www.livingnaturallyautoimmune.com/

@livingnaturallyautoimmune

Original recipe>> http://www.livingnaturallyautoimmune.com/recipes/2016/10/31/vanilla-cranberry-energy-bites-gluten-free-aip

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Throwing a Hurricane Party, we got the perfect skinny cocktail for you!

Skinny Hurricane

HurricaneMatthew

Ingredients:

1½ ounces Bacardi Select Rum

2 ounces Light Orange Juice

2 ounces Light Cranberry Juice

Garnish, Orange Peel Twist

 HurricaneMatthew

Recipe & Photos Courtesy of Megan From With Salt and Wit

be-good-to-people-quote

We’ve heard that women are bossy (or bitches or both) countless times in our lives in reference to a woman with high expectations and the drive to achieve her goals. Now if you take a woman who leads a successful company you get a slew of even more unpleasant name-calling. But why? If you think about it, the majority of people who are happy and successful in life and business have arrived in their positions because they’ve worked hard and have had a positive team around them. As much as we’d like to think other people’s decisions don’t affect us, it’s an irrefutable fact that humans are social creatures and we rely on others for support. Throughout my life I’ve come to realize the importance of nurturing myself and my passions but also those in my life that help me accomplish my goals. There will always be people ready to knock you down, but the way you brush the dirt off your Louboutins and how you treat people will always be the determinants of your success. Although they may have been hard lessons to learn, I’ve compiled a short but very important list of rules I hold very near and dear to my heart.

Always be gracious. Regardless of whether you are the newbie at a company or the CEO of a national corporation, thanking people who are in your life and acknowledging their contributions is a must. Showing appreciation to those around you (particularly the barista who always gets your latte just right) creates solid relationships and gives you the reputation of being a classy and courteous woman.

If you manage a team of people, use “we” instead of “I”. As a girl boss who is responsible for a large team it’s easy to take credit for any triumphant outcomes. In order to lead a happy and productive team, it is vital to share your successes. By sharing responsibility with everyone on your squad you create an inclusive environment where your staff will feel valued and will be more likely to happily contribute to the company.

Never burn bridges. My mother would always say, “You attract more bees with honey than vinegar.” But we all know it can be very hard to maintain that sweet disposition when other people are not cooperating. Even if telling someone off may seem ideal in the heat of the moment, you never know when those people will pop back into your life. Keeping your cool and remembering to respect others could be the difference between scoring a coveted seat at next year’s Fashion Week or catching the recap of Balenciaga’s fall line while you sit at home in your PJs.

Remember to give back. At the pinnacle of your success, when you need other people’s help the least is precisely the moment when you should give back the most. Take the time to recognize the people, organizations or communities that have gotten you where you are today. Not only does it send fabulous karma your way, but it also makes people proud to be associated with you and inspires future relationships, both personal and professional. When you pay it forward you’re helping another woman somewhere reach her designer dreams.

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