New Beginnings

 Happy New Year my Passionistas!

Happy New Year my Passionistas!

 Details for days. 

Details for days. 

 Favorite sweater. Mustard yellow is so in. 

Favorite sweater. Mustard yellow is so in. 

 Looking into the future and it's metallic, shiny and pearly white. 

Looking into the future and it's metallic, shiny and pearly white. 

I just love the new year. With it comes new possibilities, goals and dreams. It feels so good to start fresh on some things we may have given up last year, or we simply got burned out in the process. I certainly have. Last year was emotionally heavy with my mom's surgery and months of recovery (emotions were running high), and my boyfriend moving across the country (emotions are still all over the place). In it all, I lost my drive to pursue what I have started. My blog took a step back, I haven't posted as often as I would love to. Also, I lost all my focus of studying for my Real Estate License. This is the first time I'm sharing this publicly. In the new year I will have a new career and that makes me very excited. I've never been more motivated to reach my goals, as I am in 2018!

Last year wasn't a complete loss. I went out of my comfort zone and attended a great deal of amazing blogger events. As a result, I connected with many incredible women and made new friendships. I ran my 3rd marathon while raising over $1,600 representing Girls on the Run organization. I moved my man across the country, as we drove through stunning landscapes, reminding me how much I love to travel. I helped my mom move into her new place and remodel it. Fourth year in a row I continued to serve in my local church almost every sunday. Giving back is the key to staying grounded and I will continue to serve the best to my abilities as long as I'm needed. I was published in a couple magazines through my work with Lily's Talent as a print model. I purchased the car of my dreams, the world's most beautiful automobile in small cars category - a mint green Fiat 500 Pop (with white steering wheel - that was a must have!). 

THE GOOD NEWS

Whatever held you back last year, don't let it stand between you and your destiny. Here's the good news. There is no shame in starting over or starting fresh altogether. I dare you to dream even bigger dreams this year and giving it all you've got. You can achieve anything you set your mind to, so don't let it trick you to think that you are not good enough, not strong enough, not talented enough, not rich enough. Enough with enough. Enough with excuses. Enough with the old ways. This is a new year, this is the new and improved YOU. Can't get those past failures and set backs dictate the next right step in life. Go ahead, take it.

THIS is a SHOCKER

I am on a diet. Yes, you heard me right, a diet. What a cliche staring a diet with the new year. I know, but I gave in and I love it. After hearing so many good things about whole 30, I decided to give my body a break from all the toxins and help improve my digestive system. Family history of digestive disorders, also played a huge factor in deciding if this is the right step for me. 

Whole 30 is amazing, and not that hard to follow. Certain food groups are eliminated, such as sugar, grains, dairy and legumes. It lets your body heal and recover form the gut-damaging inflammatory food groups. Instead it focuses on protein, organic fruit and vegetables, and healthy fats. This diet is more of a way of life for me, you wouldn't believe how much sugar is in almost every item we consume! Even after completing whole 30 I will continue a healthy way of eating, except wine will re-enter my menu (moderate amounts are good for your heart ;)

This year I will also be running my fourth marathon with hopes to get closer to qualifying for the elite Boston Marathon. I am going to change up my training with lots of classes at Barry's Boot Camp, they know know to kick my butt in there! I'm also hoping to move to the west coast sometime this year. I love Chicago so much, but I always wanted to re-locate and experience a more laid back lifestyle. After all, my man lives there now, so that's another pretty heavy factor weighting in on my decision. Let's hope 2018 will be the year when I take that big step.

I know there's a lot of you doing whole 30 right now or you may have in the past. If so, I would love to hear how much you loved or hated it. Spill all the dirty secrets in the comments section. I'm also dying to read all your new years resolutions/goals. Nothing will motivate me more than hearing yours!

WHAT I'M WEARING

This whole outfit is so fun and I put it all together in minutes. If you have been following me on my Instagram for a while, you may have noticed me in baker boy hats a lot. I cannot stress enough how great of an accessory they are and how quickly they can transform your outfit to street style chic. I own them in three colors, black, navy and my vintage tweed one.

My color block Sweater is by River Island and it sold out really fast, I am linking few other ones I'm loving right now. All that mustard yellow is making me feel warm and cozy.

PEARL embellished jeans are from Alice and Wonder, a local boutique in Lincoln Park. They definitely make a huge fashion statement, I found some great options for you. I love to dress them up or down, they are that fun to play around with. My faux fur coat is unavailable in this color, but I linked an amazing piece I think you will also enjoy. Having a plush coat like this makes all the difference when dressing up even the simplest of outfits. Wear it with jeans, a turtleneck, sneakers and you are good to go for a casual stroll in the city. It's also the perfect dressy coat when going out. These silver metallic booties have been my favorite this season. I wear them with anything, even sweatpants and they were very reasonably priced. I can't live without my stay all day liquid Lipstick by Stila in Beso, I want to buy all the colors. Bag is by Coach and I found one that's for sale and it looks almost identical. Coach sales are amazing, you can get super great quality stuff for half off. Love me some Coach!

I hope this year brings you endless opportunities and perserverance to finish what you've started. This is your new chance. Take it. 

With love,

Marlena Begier