Darling Letters: The Beauty of the Ordinary

A picture of its in glassware

We are bringing “Darling Letters” from your inbox to the blog! We love the art of letter writing and believe it helps build authentic community. Our editors and contributors have thoughtfully written encouraging letters to cut through the busyness and speak straight to your heart.

I found a coffee ring hidden beneath a stack of books on my end table today. A blurry-edged circle left behind by my mug from this morning or maybe the one before. The simplest of stains, hinting at an unremarkable moment when coffee slipped silently down the cup’s edge and settled on the surface beneath.

The surprise of it made me smile, like I’d found my own footprint in the soils of such a simple morning spent alone. It looked for a moment like the rings of a treetelling of all the years the tree has survived and the strength of its roots deepening day-by-day in tiny, imperceptible ways. It was just a ring of coffee, but in that moment, I saw the faintest fossil of my beautifully ordinary life. 

It was just a ring of coffee, but in that moment, I saw the faintest fossil of my beautifully ordinary life. 

I want to see everything in this way—to hold up all the familiar, unexceptional pieces of my days and view them in light of such astoundingly simple grace. I want to stop measuring my life by bullet points when all the matter in the middle holds such clear evidence of its beauty.

I want to celebrate the coffee rings of quiet mornings. I want to be grateful for every tiny, imperceptible moment that deepens my roots and strengthens my soul for survival and celebration.

I want to be grateful for every tiny, imperceptible moment that deepens my roots and strengthens my soul for survival and celebration.

Let’s embrace the subtle beauty that saturates the simple things.

With love,

Bailey Price, the Darling family

What’s one ordinary habit or practice you follow during the week? How could you see it with fresh eyes?

Image via Anna Williams, Darling Issue No. 13


The Value of Dialogue: Why Disagreements Might Be a Chance to Learn

A road lined by palm trees

2020 proved to be a year of drastic change, unpredictable sacrifices and vast personal and social disruption. We were urged and demanded to change most aspects of our lives, which led to personal and social disruption. Such sacrifices were meant to serve the wellness of our communities. Thus, we took precautions through drastic lifestyle changes.

As change, sacrifice and disruption typified 2020, these same themes will likely be present in 2021. This new year is a crucible where fervent thoughts, emotions and beliefs could further divide or unite us at home, in our communities and in society-at-large.

Our approach to others becomes our collective destiny. Dialogue appears to be the only way forward, even when disagreement lies ahead. Here are some guiding considerations to face those conversations:

Our approach to others becomes our collective destiny.

Change is inevitable.

As day falls to night, we succumb to change every day when we wake up from sleep.  Change is eternal progress in motion. In 2020, most people altered the quality of their lives to do most things online. Change demands you to expect it within yourself, others and in the natural world.    

Dialogue is the art of communicable units of change as people can influence or radically alter the thoughts, feelings and beliefs in others. Imagine speaking to others in honor of the fact that while change is universal, it is more subjective to the person. Imagine being without assumption that you know the best answer to how things should be or where it all should go.

For example, you may want to continue homeschooling your child, while your best friend cannot wait to have their child return to school as soon as possible, vaccine or not. I invite you to consider having discussions about how one experiences such changes and their vision of the present or future. You do not have to agree with their answers. Instead, consider it a feat if you can articulate a thought, feeling or belief and, simultaneously, listen to and identify those in another person.

Consider it a feat if you can articulate a thought, feeling or belief and, simultaneously, listen to and identify those in another person.

Listening is an act of self-sacrifice.

Our two ears represent the dichotomy of self and other. When you listen with one ear, you only hear yourself and likely miss something said. Listening with both ears may allow you to tune into different aspects of the speaker. You may hear one’s past or present, core emotions or transient thoughts.

At times, you may hear a firm belief that may not fit in with yours so what happens next is crucial. Do you provoke an argument, incite a debate or throw in the towel? Do you judge them with a “fill-in-the-blank” label that puts one into a lockbox and makes you feel sane again?  

What if you decided to sacrifice your held narrative (thoughts, feelings or beliefs) for another person’s lived reality? To do so, you might have to slow down and release, momentarily, the static, if not dichotomous nature of your narrative in an attempt to listen deeply to what one said and understand how the speaker has come to understand their experience. You may not like what you hear. It may hurt, feel gross or inflict anger.

If you are willing to tune in with both ears and listen a little longer, then it is possible that you might hear something that makes sense or causes intrigue. You should exercise this practice and see if you can maintain your emotional responses in order to listen and then, articulate your point of view. Typically, there is much to learn here as you expand in deep listening.

If you are willing to tune in with both ears and listen a little longer, then it is possible that you might hear something that makes sense or causes intrigue.

Disagreement is the door to disruption, but the key is emotional regulation.  

In theory, all dialogue is supposed to be beneficial, yet contradicting thoughts, feelings and beliefs can grip people into their corner of the world. It always feels more comfortable being within one’s own echo chamber, not to be challenged and only supported by allies. Let’s be real: disagreements can be exhausting, saddening and stressful.

2021 is a corridor into a deeper state of disruption where the call to unite may only breed greater division. Unity is challenged without real, honest dialogue.

However, disagreement can be trying from the perspective of the nervous system. It is natural to hear something that evokes a raw emotion. It would be human to let that emotion trigger you into a reactive state, that is, feel a legitimate emotion (i.e. anger) and express it toward yourself and others (i.e. begin to yell). During moments of emotional disruption, regulation must be brought into the mechanism of your awareness.  

Unity is challenged without real, honest dialogue.

Emotional regulation is the ability to balance your inner state of emotions so that you are more reflexive and flexible in the moment. Dialogue is a chance to exercise an emotional experience and transform it in order to further the conversation. That could mean communicating the negotiation of your thoughts, verbalizing your emotions or expressing beliefs with others in a tone that can be heard by them. You have a right to honor your feelings, yet the task here is about converting the rawness of an emotion in a manner which conveys what is underneath it.  

Let me also be real about hurtful content. There are things people can share that you not only disagree with, but it causes great harm and danger for you to further the conversation. As this could be the case, you have to listen to your gut, first and foremost, to know what is appropriate to engage in and that which is unhealthy for you. Only you will know that distinction.

As a final note, do not wait for others to initiate sincere dialogue and demonstrate the way forward. Do not wait for your favorite social figure online (or offline) to make disagreement cool again. Accept this article as your reality check-in. Moving forward, your growth lies in facing the challenge of dialogue with fearlessness and fortitude.

Expect disagreement, as much as you anticipate understanding. Perhaps they are two sides of the same coin.

What is the key to healthy dialogue when faced with a disagreement? Do you think you are as good a listener as you are an orator of your opinions and feelings?

Image via Raisa Zwart Photography


15 Light & Healthy Meal Prep Dinners To Prepare for the Week

My dear friends, the time has come. Spring is basically upon us and summer will be here before we know it — I have been waiting an eternity for this! (OK, obviously not an eternity, but give me a break, that’s how long winter in Chicago feels.) While our winter was full of heavy comfort foods, the thought of warmth and springtime makes us want to dive into fresh salads, yummy wraps, and all the seasonal veggies we can get. Today on the Everygirl, we have rounded 15 light and healthy dinners to make all week long!


1. Thai Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Source: Show Me The Yummy


2. Steamed Salmon with Garlic and Herbs

Source: What’s Gaby Cooking


3. Kale Salad

Source: What’s Gaby Cooking


4. Healthy Kung Pao Chicken

Source: Slender Kitchen


5. Turkey Zucchini Skillet with Pesto

Source: iFOODreal


6. Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad

Source: Joyful Healthy Eats


7. Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili

Source: Show Me The Yummy


8. Creamy Coconut Shrimp with Tomatoes

Source: Slender Kitchen


9. Chicken Shawarma

Source: Slender Kitchen


10. Roasted Butternut Squash Chicken Couscous

Source: Ambitious Kitchen


11. Chickpea Salad

Source: Chelsea’s Messy Apron


12. Sheet Pan Smoked Sausage and Peppers  

Source: How Sweet Eats


13. Farfalle with Marinated Feta, Arugula, and Pine Nuts

Source: How Sweet Eats


14. Tex-Mex Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins

Source: Healthy Food Guide


15. Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

Source: Show Me The Yummy


What are some of your favorite light and healthy dinners to make?




The Everygirl’s Amazon Capsule Wardrobe

The Everygirl’s product selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we genuinely love.

If you’ve been around here for a while, you already know how keen we are on the concept of capsule wardrobes—a closet full of items that can be mixed and matched with one another for an infinite amount of combinations and a permanent fix to your “I don’t know what to wear today” conundrum.

The overall concept of a capsule wardrobe can err on the side of pretty pricey; after all, the whole point is to make investments in pieces you know you’ll wear forever, and a lot of the time, that comes at a cost. But it’s 2021, which means that as quickly as we can Amazon Prime ourselves the dish soap we’ve been out of for five days too long, we can also order affordable, high-quality wardrobe investments to add to our capsules.

Don’t believe us? We’ve created an entire capsule wardrobe exclusively from Amazon. Trust us, nobody will ever be able to tell you got these pieces in the same delivery as your laundry detergent.


racerback tank
crewneck tee
ribbed turtleneck
puff-sleeved tee
crewneck sweatshirt
crewneck sweater
leather shacket
trench coat
black blazer
fitted joggers
knit pants
straight jeans
tank dress
leather joggers
maxi dress
white sneakers
slide sandals
heeled sandals
shoulder bag
tote bag


No matter if you’re going out for dinner, to the office, or running errands, a capsule wardrobe should be able to be mixed and matched to be transitioned for any occasion. 



leather shacket / straight jeans / white sneakers / shoulder bag

There’s nothing we love more than a shacket, and this tan, faux-leather one holds the magic of versatility. Paired with casual jeans, sneakers, and a shoulder bag, it makes for the perfect upgraded-casual look.



crewneck sweatshirt / knit pants / white sneakers / tote bag

2020 did nothing if it didn’t make us re-evaluate our athleisure choices and finally retire our old, ratty sweats. This crewneck-and-knit-pant combo is perfect for a work-from-home look that’s exclusively comfortable, but feels more put-together than usual. Need to leave the house? Top it off with white sneakers and a tote bag.



crewneck tee / leather joggers /slide sandals / shoulder bag

Mastering the concept of being effortlessly cool is no easy feat, but leather joggers can single-handedly get you there with no thought required. Paired with a T-shirt, casual sandals, and a shoulder bag, you’ll look like someone with somewhere to go—even if you’re just headed to Trader Joe’s because you ran out of pesto and peanut butter cups.


puff-sleeved tee / straight jeans / heeled sandals / crossbody

Once we’re back to the office, there’s no doubt that figuring out how to get dressed again is going to be a challenge, but this look might just be where we start. This puff-sleeved tee elevates anything it’s paired with, and the heeled sandals are perfect for dressing up or down (here we’re obviously dressing them down with the help of straight jeans). This brown croc crossbody bag finishes the look off with a chef’s kiss.



racerback tank / black blazer / leather joggers / white sneakers

There’s nothing that looks cooler than an all-black look, and this is one that we’d like to wear on repeat until forever. The leather joggers dress down and cool up the black blazer, and sneakers finish off this look that screams “cool girl headed to office with fabulous after-work plans.”



An Ode to Women’s History Month

A group of diverse women smiling and laughing at the camera

This post was originally published on March 2, 2020.

Our hands aren’t big enough to hold all their names
Every artist who sacrificed for her craft
Every founder who built her dreams
Every activist who taught her neighbors to hope
Every mother who fought for her family

The best we can do is dig,
day by day and year by year,
untangling the stories of women
reduced to “pretty,” “smart” or “trouble”
from the dirt—debris of a history
slow to notice and slower to celebrate.

The best we can do is plant,
day by day and year by year,
reminding each other
through monuments and museums
daughters and dreams,
of our recovered legacies.

The best we can do is grow,
day by day and year by year,
spreading the leaves of fresh stories
and the buds of bursting hopes
over newly tilled rows of
incurable perseverance.

How do you celebrate Women’s History Month? What do the trailblazing women of the past and present mean to you?

Image via Ben Cope, Darling Issue No. 19


We Tested 5 Exciting New Beauty Brands From 2021

The Everygirl’s product selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we genuinely love.

There’s no shortage of “new” in the beauty industry. Every day, new products, brands, innovations, styles, and trends emerge, often making the heart of a beauty lover soar. It seems like every day a new celebrity is entering the beauty space or a new product is all over TikTok. But how are we supposed to know what to buy and what to skip? After some research (I love my job so much), I tested five new beauty brands and their products. Here’s what I loved (and what I didn’t):


1. Merit


The second I saw this brand on my Instagram feed, I needed to get in on it immediately. I’m a major fan of Katherine Power’s skincare line, Versed, so I had a feeling these products would wow me. The packaging caught my eye immediately; everything is minimal and luxurious-looking—with a decent price tag to match (how sad is it that I’m happy these products were all under $40? The beauty industry has burned me). To get a feel for the line, I tried two products that called to me: The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Stick and Brow 1980 Volumizing Brow Pomade Gel



The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Foundation and Concealer Stick

I love a good product innovation, but I especially love when they work—and boy does this work. This isn’t a foundation or a concealer; it’s a complexion product that’s essentially used as neither and both at the same time. It’s for pinpointed coverage wherever you need it, which I typically find doesn’t work very well. But this blends into my skin so evenly and looks natural with only a little bit of product. I’m wearing this with the Auric highlighter below in the above photo, and you can tell it doesn’t completely cover everything, but that’s why I love it. It looks just like my real skin, but better. I know I’ll use this all spring and summer—and I’m already preparing to order another shade as I start self-tanning. This product gets a solid 10/10.

Shop it now


Volumizing Eyebrow Pomade Gel

This one wasn’t as much of a hit for me. Is it bad? Not at all. It actually is pretty great. But for how much product you get and the performance, it’s just more expensive than I’d typically spend. I despise the packaging ploy in which the cap is bigger than the actual product, and this does that, which annoyed me before I even tried it. If you want a lovely, clean brow gel, this is certainly your girl, it’ll just set you back a bit when you could just buy ELF’s Wow Brow for $6.

Shop it now


2. Anomaly


Priyanka Chopra’s newest venture is Anomaly Hair, a new line sold exclusively at Target featuring eight products all under $6. My shower is filled to the brim with shampoos and conditioners I won’t finish until 2025 at this rate, but I was in the market for a new dry shampoo after a recent stint of incorporating some harder workouts into my routine while simultaneously trying to sustain my hair color longer.


Dry Shampoo

Priyanka Chopra’s newest venture is Anomaly Hair, a new line sold exclusively at Target featuring eight products all under $6. My shower is filled to the brim with shampoos and conditioners I won’t finish until 2025 at this rate, but I was in the market for a new dry shampoo after a recent stint of incorporating some harder workouts into my routine while simultaneously trying to sustain my hair color longer.

Shop it now


3. LYS Beauty


LYS Beauty gets the stamp of Sephora’s first clean color cosmetics brand with a Black founder and owner, so when they first announced, I was ecstatic. Launching with six products ranging from complexion to cheeks to lips, LYS is already selling out left and right on Sephora’s website, so I had to try it all.



LYS Beauty

Triple Fix Serum Foundation

I have a love/hate relationship with this foundation. When my skin is peeling and flakey from overexfoliation and Retin-A use, it’s a major pass for me. A few times I wore this, and my skin looked worse than it ever had. But when my skin is in better shape and is moisturized and not so textured, it looks gorgeous, is so lightweight, and stays on all day. It’s kind of hit or miss with me and this foundation, but I definitely can see myself using it when my skin is more on the oily side this summer for a step up from a tinted moisturizer without a heavy product on my face.

Shop it now

LYS Beauty

Matte Bronzer

Of everything I tried, this is my favorite. Since it arrived in my mailbox, I haven’t used another bronzer. It blends effortlessly into my skin regardless of what foundation, powders, concealers, or other products I’m using. For my skin tone (which is sitting at a solid “light with perhaps a hint of medium” right now, and I have a neutral olive undertone), the “Light” shade matches me really well. I raved about Charlotte Tilbury’s Airbrush Flawless Bronzer last summer, and this is half the price and just as good if you ask me.

Shop it now

LYS Beauty

Satin Matte Cream Blush

Blush is slowly becoming my favorite product in my makeup collection (especially while working from home and spending so much time on Zoom calls that make my face look flat and one-dimensional), so I knew I had to try this new cream blush. The shades are so gorgeous, it was hard to choose! I love how these have a cream-to-powder finish; it’s moisturizing but stays put all day, which is something I often struggle with when it comes to other cream blushes. I apply this with a brush and blend it in with my fingers, and it blends flawlessly every time. This also has the perfect amount of pigmentation. If you hated the Rare Beauty blushes because of their high pigment, you’ll like this. It’s buildable without being too light, making each shade pretty versatile on a range of skin tones.

Shop it now

LYS Beauty

Glossy Lip Treatment Oil

This is a classic glossy lip balm, but I’ve been reaching for it constantly. I love the way it makes my lips feel, and I notice they’re more hydrated at the end of the day if I’ve applied this a few times. I’m obsessed with Kopari’s Lip Glossy, and this is a new product I’m adding to that rotation.

Shop it now

LYS Beauty

Triple Fix Setting Powder

I hated this the first few times I tried it because it clung to every dry patch on my face (which was a lot). However, when my skin is more balanced, I really do like this, and I love how it holds my makeup in place. I would suggest this mostly to those with normal-to-oily skin, but someone with a dry skin type who does lots of skin prep beforehand might like it still. When my skin is more oily in the summer, I’m sure I’ll use this a lot.

Shop it now


4. Auric


I am a major Samantha Ravndahl stan, like most people who watch beauty YouTube. Sam has taught me endless tricks over the years, and her makeup style is both achievable and editorial, which I love. So when she was launching a brand, I knew I had to try it ASAP. I ordered Glow Lust on launch day, and I have some thoughts.

Auric Beauty

Glow Lust

After watching Sam’s launch video, I ordered Pyrite, which she described as the perfect highlight shade for olive skin tones, and she was right. Highlighters are always either yellow-gold or an icy-pink on me—there is no inbetween. This shade emulates my actual skin tone, so it blends in and looks like my actual skin versus looking like a colored highlighter. If you’ve used Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter, this is very similar concept: I use it as a primer under makeup, as a highlighter over makeup, or mixed in with my foundation. Glow Lust is just a little thicker, making it a bit easier to use as a standalone highlighter than Charlotte’s formula. I also find that it looks glowier on me, whereas HFF makes my skin look more moisturized. If I had to choose, I’ll keep buying Auric solely for the shade range and how gorgeous it looks on my cheekbones as a highlighter. I even use it over powders, and it blends seamlessly.

Shop it now


5. Nuele Hair


In my journey of researching new products, I wanted to make sure I was testing something from a small business too, and upon my first Google search, I knew I had to try Nuele Hair. This Black-owned brand developed an “ultra-clean” hair serum for those who wanted gorgeous, manageable hair without having to use chemical treatments or relaxers. Their ingredients come from local female farmers in Ghana and Morocco, so you can know your dollars are going to help women support their families and boost their local economies.


Hair Serum

This serum is made for all hair types, but with my straight, thin hair, I hack how I use it a little bit. When I first used it as a serum, I used one drop and mixed it into my Olaplex No. 6 leave-in, and it left my hair feeling a little greasy, which isn’t out of the ordinary for me. Oils and my hair typically don’t mesh well, unless it’s super lightweight and made for thin hair types. My hair was so soft and smooth, but it had a bit of an oily feel on my ends. After a few uses with this result, I started using it as a nighttime serum all over my hair. While I sleep, I lose a good deal of the oily residue, and I’m left with soft, manageable hair the serum promises. I can only speak to my hair type, but based on the texture, I’m sure this is a dream on thicker hair, especially coily and textured hair.

Shop it now


Darling Letters: The Renewal That Comes With a New Season

A photo of a plant with the moon in the background

We are bringing “Darling Letters” from your inbox to the blog! We love the art of letter writing and believe it helps build authentic community. Our editors and contributors have thoughtfully written encouraging letters to cut through the busyness and speak straight to your heart.

The other day, I stepped into my garden right after a morning rain shower stopped. I inhaled the exhilarating smell of the rain and celebrated the raindrops that glittered like diamonds on the white flower petals. I took adoring photos of my plants and wrote a poem to commemorate the moment.

As I reflected, I realized that hope had slowly crept into my heart just as shyly as the flowers in the garden had bloomed. I felt relieved and grateful that spring had arrived within me as well. 

I felt relieved and grateful that spring had arrived within me as well. 

There were times recently when I believed darkness had won and defeat would remain, but those moments did not last. I am learning that paying attention to the seasons helps me listen inwardly as well.

The vernal equinox marks the beginning of spring when there are almost equal amounts of daylight and darkness balancing each other out. My tired soul rejoices for this—for more balance and a new beginning. It’s felt like a long time since last spring. 

May we grow more attuned to the seasons of our hearts. This spring, let’s accept earth’s invitation to spend more time in the sunlight. Let us step into the light for renewal knowing that a change within is what will follow and remain.

May we grow more attuned to the seasons of our hearts.

With love,

Cristina Amaro, the Darling family

What new beginnings does spring usher in? Are there any inward signs that you notice within yourself when the seasons change?

Image via Judith Pavón Sayrach


5 Things to Do For Your Business This Month

The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to take stock of your business’s success over the past 12 months and areas where you have opportunities for growth or transitions. If you’re feeling excited about where to take your business in 2021, it’s time to capitalize on this ideation period and focus on the key things that will help you reach your goals while maintaining your boundaries. We’ve put together five important checks to make this month—from deepening your understanding of your clients to refreshing your digital presence (with a little help from our go-to website building platform, Squarespace). 


Start your free Squarespace trial today (no credit card required) and use code ‘EVERYGIRL’ for 10% off when you’re ready to publish your website.


1. Understand your value drivers

If you’ve been in business for five months or five years, understanding what is resonating with your audience is a huge factor in deepening engagement, brand loyalty, and repeat customers, readers, or viewers. Sometimes knowing what is working and what isn’t feels intuitive, but don’t skimp on the actual data. Take a look at your last six months of operation—where did your customers or viewers come from? What was your most popular product, service, or blog post? Make a master list of everywhere you accumulate data from, including social media, email marketing, accounting software, and your website. 

If the amount of analytics available feels overwhelming, remember to hone in on the essentials. Just because something is available to track, doesn’t mean it will be useful to you and your particular biz. I love the analytics available in Squarespace, because they put the most important information I need at the forefront and make it super easy to navigate traffic and sales through my website. One feature that has been a game-changer for my small business is the abandoned cart analytics. I can easily see how many people are adding products to their cart on my site, but not checking out. Then, I can troubleshoot ways to get that percentage lower, from sending an abandoned cart recovery email (plus I can auto-send these reminders in Squarespace!) to offering sales to repricing or retiring certain products. 



Now as a next step, take a look at the last six months of how you are spending your time. What takes up the bulk of your days? Are they activities that directly align with and enable those revenue flows? You may have to do a bit of connecting the dots here. (Appearing as a guest on someone’s podcast, for example, probably drove some follows to your Insta that resulted in business there.)

The key to growing your business is understanding, with precision, where you are undertaking activities that either create value or eat up your time with few results. Adjust accordingly!


2. Map out client personas

With a better understanding of your value drivers, you’re positioned to revisit your dream client. When you started your business, you probably already did this to some extent. But as you really get your feet under you, who your clients are will change and evolve. You learn a lot along the way in those first few years, and gain a much clearer sense of who your key customer is.

To truly build a successful business long term, you need to know exactly who you’re serving. It’s not sufficient to say your life coaching services “help busy women everywhere.” That big of a population makes it incredibly difficult to create an effective marketing strategy, because you’d need to reach and appeal to too wide a cross-section of needs and interests. Instead, take a day and do some deep digging on your customers, and build a few dream client personas. What are their goals? How do they spend free time? What do they value? Why are they on social media? Getting super granular allows you to build a vision of a customer that creates more opportunities for you to connect with them and add unique value. Don’t be afraid to lean into a niche—that’s where your unique services and your ideal clients will connect. Need help narrowing in on your niche? Read this. 



3. Refresh your digital presence

With a fresh perspective on who your dream client is, it’s time to align your digital presence accordingly. Your social media, website, and messaging should be highly aligned with your core mission, key audience, and overall business goals. If you’ve been in the game for a while, or, if you’re quickly getting more clarity on your target audience, it might be time for a refresh.

Enroll a trusted friend to take a look at your social media and any other digital channels with fresh eyes. Or, do a short survey to past clients or newsletter subscribers. Ask them for feedback on functionality, content, and the vibe they’re getting. Do they know things about your value, style, and business proposition that don’t seem readily reflected? It doesn’t take a complete brand overhaul to continue to refine and align your virtual presence to your value proposition. Think about adding new content, refreshing some photography, or rearranging your bio. Small tweaks add up.

Now is also a great time to check in with your website. (Not sure if you need a website? Read this.) Have a friend review your site and note any questions that come up. Is it hard to find your contact information? Is it clear what you do and where customers, clients, or readers should be led after landing on your site? If you need help with layout, we highly recommend our platform of choice, Squarespace. You can choose from dozens of templates and get started right away. Replace the demo content with your own and you’re ensured a beautiful site that is also functional and lead-generating. Win, win. 



4. Invest in the boss

As a business owner, it’s easy to put yourself last on the list. For many of us, you’re a one-woman show, the Chief Do-er, planner, Executive Assistant—the list goes on. But when that’s the case and it’s all riding on you, it’s even more important that you invest in yourself. You are your business. 

This can look a million different ways, but it’s a good time to reflect on what investing in the CEO of your business looks like. It could mean you’re ready to put some new boundaries in place: for example, not scheduling any client meetings on Mondays. Or, it could mean setting new payment terms on invoicing to better manage your cash flow. It may also mean that you need to set aside some money or time for classes that can continue to elevate your executive presence. This could look like major industry conferences or skill builders like joining a toastmasters club to get better at speaking in public.


Source: Social Squares


5. Define how you give back

It’s increasingly important to understand how your business not only creates financial value, but also how it fits into larger societal good. How do you give back? This is a really exciting space to start to define your goals. And, even the smallest of small businesses have ways to do this.

Get creative. Do you have the ability to discount services to other women-owned or minority-owned businesses? Could you offer a free webinar on a particular topic to people who show a receipt for donating to a cause you care about? What about planting a tree for every package you ship? You don’t need to be a million dollar business to define and act on your goals in this space.


Start your free Squarespace trial today (no credit card required) and use code ‘EVERYGIRL’ for 10% off when you’re ready to publish your website.



This post is sponsored by Squarespace, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.



What I Learned About Posing From Ashley Graham’s Photos

Ashley Graham. That’s it, that’s the article. She was the first plus-size model that I could truly see myself in. She had hips, boobs, booty, and tummy, and flaunted it before I even knew it was OK to do so.

As the first plus-size model to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated, she brought new life to the conversations of body positivity, fat-phobia, and the lack of inclusivity in the fashion industry.

For me personally, her style and the way she moves her body with confidence are so inspiring to me. Ashley Graham was the reason I put on a bikini again after years of avoiding them, but that’s a story for another day.  

To the folks who love to take pictures and post them on the ‘gram, you know how hard it is to draw inspiration for new pictures whilst in the middle of this pandemic. Moreover, for my curvy girls, there’s always someone out there telling us how to pose to hide aspects of our bodies that we should be insecure about, but guess what? I’m not hiding my beautiful body from the world, that would be doing society a disservice.  

I’m always searching for new content inspiration, so this week I decided to draw from the inspirer herself. I did a deep-dive into Ashley Graham’s Instagram portfolio and attempted to recreate some of my favorite poses. If you’re looking to spice up your Instagram content, join me in what I’m calling the #PostLikeAshleyGraham challenge. (Which isn’t a real challenge, but maybe it should be!).


Pose like a boss

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by A S H L E Y G R A H A M (@ashleygraham)


My take


This pose is all about the leg. Pop that leg out, throw that head back, and pose with confidence. What drew me to this photo initially was the fact that she was able to create eye-catching shapes with such effortless movement. I’m honestly disappointed in myself for not matching her with my face shield, but I guess I’ll have to save that for another day! 



View this post on Instagram

A post shared by A S H L E Y G R A H A M (@ashleygraham)


My take


I love my little bookshelf, so I had to try this one. I wanted to recreate this pose because  I’m a big fan of content that invites the viewer into the less glamorous parts of the creator’s life. It shows that no one is always on vacation, no matter how many throwbacks they post. 


Use props

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by A S H L E Y G R A H A M (@ashleygraham)


My take


You might even say I’ve got the juice (wink, wink). Can we just pause to marvel at how effortlessly gorgeous Ashley Graham is? If you know me, you know I love an athleisure look, so I just had to attempt this recreation. I grabbed my favorite cold-pressed lemonade and my sustainable straw to co-star in this photo. Spice up your Instagram feed with everyday props to create photos that feel a bit less posed and more like someone just caught you living your life. 


First, let me take a selfie

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by A S H L E Y G R A H A M (@ashleygraham)


My take


Here’s the thing: every day is a good day for some selfie love. Not that you need it, but I’m giving you an excuse to do your makeup, get all glammed up with some of your favorite jewelry, and strike a fierce look in front of your ring light or window (good lighting is key). 


I’m on vacation

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by A S H L E Y G R A H A M (@ashleygraham)


My take


I can’t lie, this pose was harder than it looked. I thought it’d be as simple as just walking away and looking back slightly, but you really have to turn your body in a way that feels a bit unnatural. Pro tip: to recreate this photo, play the song Vacation by Sam Hunt, and record a video instead of trying to just get one photo. You can screenshot the video and then use an app like Remini to make the screenshot just as clear as a photo would have been.


Mirror, mirror, on the wall

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by A S H L E Y G R A H A M (@ashleygraham)


My take


Who’s the sexiest of them all? It’s you, girl! Mirror pics are a staple piece of social media and they age like fine wine. Next time you put on your favorite outfit, do a mirror check and make sure to take your phone. 

To everyone who reads this, even if you don’t try any of these poses, I hope you feel empowered to post that picture. You’re beautiful just the way you are and that is worth sharing.


How I Found Confidence Again

A woman's reflection in a mirror that has the decal "be confident--you got this."

Growing up, I was a confident girl. I organized kickball games in the cul-de-sac where I lived. I memorized and recited the Declaration of Independence for a speech meet. Once when I spent the night at a friend’s house, I recruited her two older brothers to do relays with us up and down their hallway.

As a teenager, I was the captain of my volleyball team. I led a small group in my youth group. On the morning of my 15th birthday, my mom took me to get my learner’s permit, and I drove home from the office on one of the busiest highways in town. 

Confidence was always something that came naturally to me. My transition to college, however, was a difficult one. The number of people on my campus overwhelmed me. I missed the familiarity of the people I had grown up with. Early adulthood diminished the light I possessed in my adolescent years.

The scary part was that I didn’t know how to make it brighter again. I had begun to lose my way and with that, my confidence waned. 

So I tried moving to another country. The women native to my new country of residence were extremely beautiful—not only in their looks but also in how they carried themselves. They wore heels to run errands on Saturday mornings and fake eyelashes to work. They greeted me with embraces and cheek kisses, and they fussed over me when I visited their homes.

Slowly but surely, I found myself comparing myself to their version of beauty. Comparing myself to them extinguished my light completely. 

Comparing myself to [these women] extinguished my light completely. 

Years later, when my daughter was born, I threw all my energy into teaching her how to hold a spoon, then on how to take her first steps and how to say “please” when she wanted something. Early motherhood was so demanding that it was easy to ignore my insecurities and the feeling that I was living less than whole. 

A few months before my daughter’s third birthday, my world fell apart. I was met with one of life’s unexpected blows, and my heart was broken. At first, I cried, I asked why, and I let myself be a victim. After a few months of this, I thought about the life I wanted to create for my daughter, and I decided to move back home.

Soon after returning home, I played in an alumni volleyball game for my high school team. During the game, I served, jumped to block and bent my knees enough to dig. For those few hours on the volleyball court, I felt my confidence returning. For a moment, I remembered what it was like to be 17 and the captain of my volleyball team—17 and confident, 17 and alive.

I smiled the entire game. I knew what it was like to live diminished. I wanted to live again. I wanted to light a new fire in my bones, body and heart. 

I wanted to live again. I wanted to light a new fire in my bones, body and heart. 

It has been a few months since the volleyball game. Now, I have a new job. Every day that I am there, I am surprised by how much I like the job and how much I like the people I work with. I wake up early to write and pack my daughter’s lunch for preschool. I make my lunch for work, and after I get off work, I take care of my daughter until she goes to sleep. As I make my way through my daily routine, I am finding my way again.

Just as my daughter watched me play in the alumni volleyball game, high-fiving me during time-outs, I know she is watching me in life. Watching me pack those lunches, seeing me go to work and hearing me say that I am tired but still choosing to take care of her. My daughter is watching me put one foot in front of the other, even when it’s hard. She is watching me choose to live again.

Instead of “living with a broken heart,” I think of it as living because of the broken heart. The broken heart was what propelled me forward, opening my eyes to a full and beautiful life that, for a long time, I had only been living halfway. 

The broken heart was what propelled me forward, opening my eyes to a full and beautiful life.

I once was a confident girl. Then, I became a confident teenager. This is the year that finally, I became a confident woman.

Have you ever gone through an experience that crushed your confidence? How did you find your way again?

Image via Tony Li