Monthly Archives: April 2012

Work hard, demonstrate excellence.


Something that’s been on my mind lately is hard work. Whenever I’m asked to describe myself in three words or less, the word driven often comes up. I’ve been like this my entire life – very motivated and determined by a specific person, factor, feeling, etc. Recently, I’ve been trying to pinpoint what is this driving force behind the work I do. I know I’m not the only one around here who is in this situation! What drives you?

Are we driven by the idea of making a difference, living a life of purpose, producing excellence for excellence sake? Or instead, is our motivation merely to be acknowledged, rewarded, to receive a pat on the back, a bonus, a stamp of approval?

We live in a world where the “go, go, go!” mentality and hustle is encouraged, and also expected. There are hundreds of articles that offer quick tips and tricks for staying motivated, but I’ve realized most of them focus on what happens IF you work hard, not the core rationale for why we work hard.

It’s so easy to get caught up in working hard at our jobs and relationships that we forget the core reason we do it in the first place. It’s quite common to work hard for the approval, attention, appreciation and acknowledgement from other people. None of these things are inherently bad, but they do all set up a system whereby other people’s feedback and compliments determine our sense of whether or not we accomplished what we set out to do.  Is our hard work validated only by the approval of others?

Instead of working hard for any of these reasons, bring your best to any and all situations you are in because it’s the right thing to do. Work hard because it demonstrates good character.

It comes down to whom we are trying to please. If we are looking to please others, we will fall victim to performance mentality {i.e. “I must produce or do something in order for other people to like and appreciate me”}. When others don’t show us the attention we crave, we feel like we haven’t accomplished anything at all.

In reality, hard work and doing your best is an accomplishment in and of itself. Hard work is something to be personally celebrated apart from whether or not it is ever acknowledged by other people.

My mom’s advice earlier this week stuck in my head: “If you work hard, that’s on you. If other people don’t acknowledge or appreciate it, that’s on them.” Give your 110% at your relationships, job and every other aspect of life not for praise or recognition but because it’s showing excellence.

And you are excellent, queen.

xx Andi


Healthy Living Tips – A Giveaway with Aerie

Here is today’s FITness Friday post with Aerie!

While physical fitness is important, we think that a healthy lifestyle is even more key for a happier life, from the inside out. Healthy living involves more than just a trip to the gym; it covers all aspects of life – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and relational. This week’s Aerie FIT outfit is the feather tank, equally perfect for the gym or a trip to the beach with your friends. Here’s a few fitness and healthy living tips to kickoff the weekend!

1. Surround yourself with healthy living inspiration. Leave Post-It notes in your bedroom, bathroom, workspace and everywhere else reminding yourself what you love about yourself. Write out quotes that make you feel good or something you are proud of. Check out Operation Beautiful for fun Post-It note ideas!

2. Make it part of your routine. It’s easy to hit the gym when it’s a part of your routine, just like brushing your teeth is. Try to go to the gym or do your workout at the same time each day so you get in the habit of working out on a consistent basis.

3. Go outside. While the gym is great, there’s nothing like being in the great outdoors. Some days {and nights} it’s just best to enjoy being outside, especially if you are cooped up inside all day. Take a long walk with a friend or jog around the block. Some cities even offer fitness classes outside. Being outside is also a great way to explore new neighborhoods or a cool park nearby!

4. Switch it up!  You don’t wear the same outfit everyday, do you? Rotate your workouts! Focus on weight training one day and cardio another. Try swimming one day and yoga the next. Take a Zumba class and then go hiking another day. You will enjoy staying active when you are doing lots of different activities. Don’t forget to enjoy rest days as well!

5. Treat yourself every so often. After finishing a good workout, you deserve a reward. Buy yourself a fun accessory or enjoy a cup frozen yogurt {my favorite is cake batter flavor with strawberries, granola and mango}.

Now it’s your turn to share your fitness or healthy living tips! Aerie and I are hosting a fun giveaway offering one lucky Polish My Crown reader a $50 Aerie gift card. There are two ways to enter:

1. Comment on this post sharing one fitness or healthy living tip
2. Tweet a fitness or healthy living tip to @luckyandi @aerie, including the link:

The winner will be selected on Friday, May 4th.
*Find Aerie’s FIT collection online, Facebook and Twitter. I also love the Aerie Pretty Is Everywhere Tumblr!

CONGRATULATIONS TO KELLIE! You were the randomly selected winner of the Aerie Healthy Living Giveaway.

Thursday Thankful List

Staying cheerful
Vanilla lattes
“I love you” texts from my mom
Remembering the good things people say about you
The opportunity to go to two concerts last week!
Peace that passes all understanding; especially after the tragic loss that happened in my hometown community eight years ago today
Mixing lots and lots of patterns in one outfit
Wearing sneakers
San Francisco {how cute is this print?}

Packing my lunch
Post-It notes
Songs on repeat
God-given joy
Walking in the sand
Three weeks until I’m back in Ohio!!!
Jumping in saltwater waves
Those times when you just. can’t. stop. laughing.
This Gala Darling TEDxCMU talk
Packing picnics

The color pink
Emails full of surprises
Afternoon naps
The smell of fresh flowers
Animal crackers
Recognizing and embracing your assets over your flaws
Traveling inspiration
Peanut butter with everything
Neighborhood walks right before dusk
Lights stuffed in a Mason jar

Cozying up on the couch after a long day
Addicting books {you know I’m talking about Hunger Games}
How much happiness Ellen projects
That bowl of Special K before bed
Watching Legally Blonde {again}
A Jane Austen quote: “There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”
Swimming backstroke
Falling asleep to the rain
Taking a hot bath
Overcoming obstacles

A pop of purple on my toes!
A sense of perspective
Singing at the top of my lungs
Brick sidewalks
Freshly sharpened pencils
Beach days with best friends
When Thursdays feel like Fridays
Resolved conflicts
This song on repeat – makes me miss my sisters!
Photos from a favorite time, April 2010 {miss you Kait!}:

cheerful in every situation

Good morning lovely friends! I like to think of all blog readers as my friends even though I haven’t met many of you in person {yet!}. Anyway, today I want to talk about being cheerful.

Cheerful by the dictionary definition means “Noticeably happy and optimistic, Causing happiness by its nature or appearance.” Many people view cheerfulness as an emotional high or a constant state of happiness or as naïveté.

Instead of viewing cheerfulness as an overwhelming intense feeling of joy or a flat-out refusal of what is going on, I want to encourage you to view it as a settled disposition. Reread that Martha Washington quote up there; it’s brilliant. To me, being cheerful means that you ARE in fact very well aware of what is going on around you, but willing to face the challenges and the day itself head on with a joyful spirit.

I know every day won’t be absolutely wonderful; to be honest some days are just rotten and I want to curl into a ball. I’ll take a wild guess you’ve been there too. Cheerfulness is beyond what is going on in the world around us or what our day-to-day lives hold. Living out of cheerfulness means means approaching situations with the positive expectation that you can overcome them. Because you most definitely can — and will.

Hope you choose to live cheerfully today! xx

Weekend Snapshots

I absolutely loved this weekend – here’s just a few my favorite things from the past couple of days! Hope you enjoyed yours! xx

{1} San Francisco weather forecast
{2} Bon Iver concert in SF
{3} Lounging Friday afternoon on Jenna & Kaitlyn‘s balcony
{4} My mini-chalkboard reminder for this weekend – and always!
{5 & 6} Day trip to Stinson Beach – I am so incredibly sunburnt.
{7 & 8} The Naked and Famous concert Saturday night
{9} Snapshot with Aimee Sunday morning
{10 & 11} Sailing on the Bay Sunday
[12} The cutest card in the mail from Sam

Take exquisite care of those minutes that are yours.

THIS Daily Dose from the Brave Girls Club was exactly what I needed to read this weekend. It’s so vital to value and prioritize every single minute you spend of your wonderful life! I hope you enjoy as much as I do and soak up this sunny Sunday! xx

Dear important girl,

Every single time we let something distract us…we are saying no to something really wonderful and important. Watching what other people are doing is a huge distraction from what we could be doing…being envious distracts us from seeing all of our own gifts, blessings and everyday miracles. Doing things just to prove our worth keeps us from doing things that our souls yearn to do….giving our time to things and people we only care about often distracts us from giving our time to things and people that we love with all of our hearts.

Beautiful, amazing friend, be so so honest with yourself and how your time is divided each day. Are you letting even a few precious mintures go by, being distracted by things that you really don’t even care about…or things that actually make you feel unsatisifed with in your own life…or by people or situations that pull you down instead of lift you back up? What is distracting you from taking care of you? Your soul, your body, your heart?

Your life is important. YOU are important. Your minutes, hours and days are important. Love your life and love yourself enough to sweep distractions out of the way so that you can live your one true and beautiful life with all that is in you…giving where you want to give,where you make a difference, where only YOU can give…and where you love every minute of what you are doing…where you can stop and rest when it is time to rest. Great minutes make great hours…and those make great days. When it’s all said and done, that’s what makes a great life. You are soo worthy of a great life. Love your minutes.

You are fantastic. Get some rest this weekend and take care of you. Take exquisite care of those minutes that are yours.

You are so very loved.


Outfit Snapshots

Happy Friday! Wanted to share a few snapshots of my outfits lately. Do you ever feel like all your favorite fashion bloggers have a hipster boyfriend to take their photos? I definitely do! For me, I’m just settling on my iPhone and Instagram for now. Enjoy the weekend! xo