You know in high school / college when you take those interview prep classes and they tell you that when you're asked the question "What is your biggest weakness?" that you should turn it into a positive by saying something along the lines of "I'm a perfectionist and sometimes I can be too picky with co-workers...blah blah blah"?

They say that because people throw the word "perfectionist" around so much that we have really lost sight of its true meaning and we take it to mean that you have high standards, an excellent work ethic, and will work really hard to achieve perfection.

That's not really what it means to be a perfectionist.

A true perfectionist will tell you that it is an absolute curse. Being a true perfectionist, I will tell you that it is the thing that probably holds me back the most in life. 

I think that the most successful people in life are most likely not perfectionists, and here's why...

*We put things off and procrastinate big time because the thought of starting something is very overwhelming, knowing that we will want to do it perfectly.

*We are "all or nothing" in everything that we do and find a life of moderation nearly impossible.

*Making a simple mistake or being only average at something is seen as a complete failure in our minds.

*We don't bounce back quickly from failures.

As an example, I once saw an episode of Oprah back in the day about perfectionists and they showed a woman whose home was a complete disaster (think "Hoarders" status) because she had let it get to the point where it was so far gone that she felt like there was no hope of getting it perfect so she just went the complete opposite direction. THAT is a true perfectionist. It's not a good thing!


Can any of you relate to this? I struggle every single day with my perfectionism (which you now know is not a humblebrag), so I thought I would share some tips that I've come up with for fighting it because I'm pretty sure there is no cure:

1. TRY to practice moderation. It's a real struggle for me to be moderate about anything, whether it be working out, eating healthy, cleaning the house, etc. It's like I have a switch in my mind and if I'm "on" with working out, then I'm really into it to a point that it's almost too extreme, but if it's "off" I just make it the last priority until it gets so out of control that I hate myself (haha...but seriously). I've really been trying over the last year or so to remind myself to be moderate. The next time you start a new fitness routine, for example, remind yourself that you want these habits to last for the rest of your life not just a few weeks, and try to scale back your intensity so that you don't burn out.

2. Be your own friend. By that I mean, ask yourself what you would say to a friend in your situation. I tend to be much harder on myself than others and sometimes it helps me to think about what I would say to a friend of mine who was going through whatever "end-of-the-world" event I'm dealing with.

3. Focus on the big picture. Getting caught up in details can cause you to give up on something that's actually fine or (worse!) not even start to begin with.

4. Create realistic schedules / goals. This is something that I've been putting into practice lately that has really, really helped me. I used to make gigantic, unrealistic to-do lists every morning and I almost never got everything done. I was setting myself up for failure, so no matter how much I did that day, I felt like it wasn't enough. These days, I've been putting three things on my day's to-do list. Just three. The three most important tasks for the day. Then I have a weekly list where I write everything that I need to do for the week, and I use whatever time is left over during the day to pull from that larger list. I really feel like this has made my mind so much clearer and I feel so much more at peace! Highly recommend.

5. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO PEOPLE! No seriously, stop that now. Don't compare yourself to strangers on the Internet. Don't compare yourself to some gorgeous girl in a magazine. Don't compare your home / wardrobe / family / life / etc to other people if you ever want to be happy. That's just the truth, y'all. This is one thing that I really feel like I've gotten a handle on over the years. Maybe it's just getting older, but I fully recognize now that photos in magazines are photoshopped, celebrities have entire teams of people dedicated to making them look good, and people who seem perfect in other areas of life have most definitely made some type of huge sacrifice to get to that point. If only I could speak to my high school self about this...she was a mess.



I hope you guys had a great week! Today, Wes was off for Good Friday so I got my orders filled early and we spent the day relaxing, walking around town, and taking it easy. I wanted to be comfortable so I had a leggings day (I have those a lot haha). I wore my long sweater tunic so that it would be acceptable to wear "out" and I jazzed it up with a sparkly necklace. I love this sweater tunic because it keeps the rear area covered and it has these long slits in the side that makes the fit nice and comfy and long. Highly recommend. Have a great weekend, everyone! xo!

tunic sweater | necklace | leggings | flats from Gap, old (similar, obsessed with these) | bag | lipgloss




Today I have a new creative business tip post for you guys based on questions that I have gotten recently regarding how to increase traffic and get noticed on Etsy. When you're first starting out on Etsy, it can feel like your listings are just drowning in a sea of other shops, and that can be really discouraging. Working your butt off only to see that no one is finding you can make you want to give up (DON'T!). These are 4 things that really made a difference for me when I was first getting started (and they still do today!) in terms of Etsy traffic and standing out in the crowd:

ps: to learn how to customize your Facebook page, click here!
1. Establish (& use!) at Least One Social Media Site 
Social media is obviously a very big marketing tool and something that is super prevalent among businesses these days, but you would be surprised how many people still do not have any social media pages established for their business! While it may seem like a lot of work, consistently maintaining at least one social media page really isn't very difficult and it pays off big time! Also, it's better to have only one page (just Facebook, for example) and post on it consistently rather than having 5 different pages that you never use. As far as how much to post, my advice is to try to post 1-3 times per day. This amount of posts keeps people interested and aware of what's going on with your business without being bogged down and annoyed at how much they're seeing you show up on their newsfeed. You can also link up your pages, so that you reach more people on different social media without doing any more work. For example, you can easily post an Instagram photo and send it off to your Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. The social media that I have found the most useful and relevant for my business: Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.

2. Be Mindful of Keywords 
SEO can be really complicated and overwhelming but it really just comes down to keywords. The easiest things to be aware of in terms of keywords are your listing title and your tags. Create these two elements of your listing based on how a potential customer would search for your product. Do not create a listing title that is irrelevant because you think it will be clever because doing this means that no one will find it. If you are selling a blue necklace, be sure that your title includes the words "blue" and "necklace". Seems simple enough, but it doesn't always happen. In terms of tags, create the tag "blue necklace" rather than "blue" and "necklace". You can still separate them if you want to, but people won't find you in a search for "blue necklace" if it isn't tagged in that way (it's the same way that hashtags work on Twitter or Instagram - have you ever seen people who hashtag each word of a phrase? #you're #doing #it #wrong). :)

3. Take Advantage of Etsy Search Ads 
You can learn the ins and outs of Etsy Search Ads here, but basically you set a weekly budget to pay Etsy each week, and then Etsy makes your items show up more often when people are searching. When you're first starting out and making barely any money, it can be difficult to know if that investment will pay off, but let me just tell you...it does! Last year (2013), I spent about $250 on Etsy Search Ads that led to $1400 sales and 150,000 views. Those are the sales and views that were made directly in relation to my search ads. I don't know if it's improper to talk about money like that, but I thought that you guys would find it helpful to know the return that I had so that you can see how much it pays off.

4. Professional Looking Photos (!!!)
Hear ye, hear ye, underline, highlight, and boldface this tip: YOUR PHOTOS MUST LOOK GOOD. They don't need to be done by a professional necessarily (although if you can afford it, great!). They don't even need to be taken on a "professional" camera, but they need to be: 

1. clear
2. light & bright 
3. accurate

I will be doing a separate post on this topic in the future because I know that it can be complicated / overwhelming / stress-inducing / etc. but if you can't do anything fancy, the most important thing is to make sure you have good natural lighting. Please, oh pretty please, do not take photos of your products in your apartment at night time using the lights in your house (CRINGE!). They will look horrible. How do I know this? Because I did it way back when...(cue Mitchell from Modern Family: "SHAAAAAMMMEE!!"). 

Those are the 4 biggest tips that worked for me. I hope that they will help you! Let me know in the comments / on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / via email / message in a bottle / etc. any questions that you have for me and I will be happy to do more posts for you guys based on your requests. xo!



Happy #fashionfriday! Here's what I wore today (it's feeling very springy outside).

I hope you have a great weekend - xo! :)


dress: Forever21 (also love this one and this one) / jacket: American Eagle Outfitters a long time ago (similar and on sale!) / necklace: American Eagle Outfitters a long time ago (love this one!) / shoes: J.Crew Factory last year (similar and on sale!) / blush: Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette in "Native" / lipstick: Lovers Coral by Revlon



Did you know that April is National Letter Writing Month? Here are some pretty stationery options from the shop to help you celebrate! Also, you can use the code APRILNOTES to get 20% off any of the stationery in the shop (once it's sold out, it's not coming back!). SHOP HERE!



Next week I'll be back to my Friday outfit posts, but I was still pretty swollen this week so I thought I would just share my photos from Instagram, in case you missed them!

I was so excited to see our Bartlett Pear tree in full bloom! Spring has sprung :)
sometimes I match my mug with my top...
I recently got a few things from Sephora and they always send the best samples! I love Prada Candy so much and I can already tell that it will be my next perfume. Do any of you have it?
I was so excited to lighten up my hair with some balayage highlights at Element Salon here in Nashville - I feel like a new person and so ready for the warmer months!
My flashback pic of the week is from 4/4/08 the night that Wes and I started dating - 6 years ago! I can't believe it's been that long.

I'm obsessed with Jennet's Instagram feed (@jennetsaitquoi) and this inspiring lettering that she created - amazing.
Follow along with my Instagrams @charmandgumption! Have a great weekend! xo



One of the things I did most while recovering was get my pin on. I can't help it! I'm a planner. And after I had browsed hair colors I moved on to one of my favorite things to plan / dream about...house stuff! I could plan dream houses and rooms all day long, you guys. I think I have a problem. I got really stuck on dreaming about closets, specifically.

Once we get some of the more important things done in the house, I would love to make over my my closet with wallpaper and a chandelier! Check out my ultra-girly closet plan below. I have included some more ideas at the bottom to help you recreate some of the above closet looks in your own home!

Let me know what you think / if you have a favorite closet inspiration (Carrie Bradshaw's perhaps?) in the comments below! xo

shop this look:
tassel garland / hangers / wallpaper / boxeschandelier / pouf / perfume print / lipstick print

more ideas:


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