November 05, 2021

Welcome to the Holidays!

Welcome to the Holidays!
This is my favorite time of year! I love all thing holiday decor, sequins and the hustle and bustle of the season. Nichelle and I sit down and talk all things shopping, family and what to wear to those special events. For even more holiday outfit ideas, check out this post!

This podcast was transcribed using Descript. Please forgive any typos or errors.

Brittany: Hi friends. Welcome to Life with Loverly I'm your host, Brittany Sjogren. I'm excited to share my heart with you beyond the 15 seconds we get on Instagram, grab an iced coffee and let's do life together.

Nichelle: It's the holiday season...

Brittany: Why did I just black out and forget what the rest of the song. We just wanted to give you guys a little cheery cheer as we go Christmas week.

Nichelle: It is Christmas. Merry Christmas. 

Brittany: So crazy. Last Friday we were talking and we were like, oh my gosh, Christmas Eve is next Friday. We're getting down to the single day countdown for Christmas. 

Nichelle: We've been in Christmas mode for two and a half months, but, where did it come from? 

Brittany: I know. Also I don't have anything for Chris yet. 

Nichelle: She will don't worry, Chris. 

Brittany: Remember when we got that nice latte coffee maker a month ago? 

Nichelle: Did y'all say Merry Christmas?

Brittany: We were like, this is a good Christmas present for us. Then he's been buying himself golf shoes and has been like, you can just wrap these. 

Nichelle: Have you decided what you wanted yet? Because I know you didn't really want anything. 

Brittany: It's so funny because I love gifts. My love language is receiving gifts. It's funny because this year, there's nothing that I'm really wanting or needing and. I think because we have kids now I'm like, let's just turn that energy into them. I would rather go do a trip with Chris or go do something that we can enjoy together and that can be Christmas. Because we just don't really need any stuff. 

Nichelle: I feel like that's a really good place to be in too. You know what I mean? You don't have to stress about that. 

Brittany: I know, but now I'm like, is he going to come up with something that's going to be a surprise? And I'm going to be like, I don't have any of those surprises.

Nichelle: As you point Merry Christmas to the coffee maker.

Brittany: Let me make you a coffee with your customized order that you created. Yeah. TBD. We'll let you guys know next year, how that plays out anyway. Also, hello? I don't think we said hello here, but we're just still shocked that it's Christmas week.

Nichelle: Trying to get everything together, we're down to just a few days and I know I still have a few things to do. Do you?

Brittany: We do. So I'm still going to do the stockings last minute. That's just the tradition and we're going to be doing Christmas cookies with my mom and the kids. If you guys remember on Instagram, I showed y'all these cute little aprons that I ordered from Minted that were for the girls. They were plaid. I can't wait for them to wear their aprons. My mom has a. whole Christmas cookie set that she got for the kids. 

Nichelle: That's so cute.

Brittany: So we'll be doing that. And then last week we went to the state botanical gardens in Athens and they do this wonder lights show, which was so much fun. I believe they're still open, and I believe they're going to be open past Christmas for few days. They're open Wednesday through Saturday, each week, but we might go back this week. We are thinking about maybe doing that on the day before Christmas Eve. 

Nichelle: That'll be so fun. The weather actually has been pretty nice. It's not been unbearable to be outside at night. 

Brittany: I know it's been cool enough where you still need a jacket, but it's been nice because I feel like the girls aren't getting sick, being outside, cause it's so cold. So we might do that. I don't know. What are you guys doing this week? 

Nichelle: Robert and I are doing stock shopping tomorrow. And then just any of the little last minute things that we have to do. Normally I do it by myself just because I don't have my parents or anybody really close by. It's just been one of those things that I go out late, one night. And I try to get the last, few things, but he was like, let's go do it Saturday. Let's get up early. Let's go get a few things. And then we have to pick up some of those orders that we placed. All of that will be in on Saturday. So we're going to just have a little day date. 

Brittany: That'll be fun. I actually love that. Chris and I used to do this on Valentine's day. We would both take off work and go spend the day. One year when we lived in Alpharetta, we went down into Buckhead. If you're not familiar with the Atlanta area, it's about a 45 minute drive. Buckhead has tons of shopping and he wanted to get a new golf club. He had a golf fitting and then we went to one of our favorite restaurants for lunch and then went and got a foot massage and shopped around. And it was so fun to have a day date so y'all are going to have a blast. 

Nichelle: I know. And me being the old lady that I am, I like to go to bed early. So day dates are speak to my heart. 

Brittany: You're like, this is what I need. Merry Christmas. Thank you. I know. I'm so excited for the girls to open their gifts. I think that Christmas day is such a great day spend with family and I know that means a lot of different things for different people. I was talking with a friend and her husband are divorced. So her kids are doing Christmas the day before. And she was like, that was one thing when we got divorced, I wanted holidays. Christmas morning was so important to her. I know that everybody's family dynamic on that day is so different, but I think no matter what that looks like , just cherishing that time. I'm excited for that day to be with the girls and spend time with family. 

Nichelle: Do you have plans with the family? I know that it's your parents' anniversary on Christmas Eve.

Brittany: Yes.

Nichelle: Do you guys have plans already for Christmas Eve?

Brittany: Usually we try to get a babysitter, like two days before Christmas and do dinner with my parents that night, and go out and celebrate just the adults. So on Christmas Eve we can do more family stuff. We'll probably do a family dinner and make Christmas cookies again for them to put on their little boards that say for Santa, love Collins and Hazel. And then, I think it'll just be hanging out. Maybe we'll watch a Christmas movie and get some last minute toys set up for the girls.

Nichelle: The assembly of it. 

Brittany: Yeah. Seriously. 

Nichelle: I know you always forget about that. And then it's three o'clock in the morning on Christmas Eve. So we have the in-laws coming on Christmas Eve. And, I said that we normally do Chinese food on Christmas Eve. Yeah. So we're going to go to one of our new favorite restaurants. It's Thai and Chinese food, but they're open until nine, so we'll be able to go have dinner with them, get back to the house and we make rice crispy treats for Santa. So that's a little tradition that we've started that will continue on and probably forever. So we're really excited about that.

Brittany: That is fun. Chris's parents are going to be coming after Christmas. So the following week will be time that we get to spend with them. It'll be fun because we'll do a Christmas 2.0 with them when they come back down. We told them we're going to save the presents for the girls to open when they're there. I think it'll be fun for the girls to go through another opening wrapping paper situation. So then my in-laws will get to experience Christmas with them. So that'll be really sweet. And then it'll be 2022 before we know it. 

Nichelle: It really will. We're going to blink and it's going to be here. So I was just talking to Lain earlier, we were talking about traditions and one of the things that we're trying to get prepared for, and I don't know if I've told you about this. My mother does saran wrap ball. She accumulates boxes and boxes of saran leading up to Christmas and little things. A lot of them are very useful. Phone chargers, the blocks, hand warmers, gift cards, Starbucks, Dunkin', all of that. And usually the biggest prize is in the very center, and she wraps it and then wraps these things as she wraps this ball. This ball is going to be bigger than a basketball. It's huge. We usually all wrap it together on Christmas morning, if the girls are done. We play, and what you do is you play with two dice. The person in front of you has to roll until they roll doubles and the person behind you is unwrapping the saran wrap ball and you can't rip it. You're trying to find the edge of the saran and then you're rolling it to try to get out as much as possible. It's so much fun. This is the one thing that the whole family looks forward to because everyone is included in this. You know what I mean? 

Brittany: And it's like, how good are they at rolling the dice? That depends on like your turn. 

Nichelle: Yes. We're so competitive too. Every single one of us, my mom, my dad, my in-laws, my sister and I. We're accumulating a lot of that this week.

Brittany: So is it separate balls?

Nichelle: It's one big one. 

Brittany: So it's a few different things at different layers?

Nichelle: Yes. It's layered in there unwrap it. And then it's oh, like a gift card falls out. That's yours. Usually it doesn't fall. It flies. Because you're going so fast, trying to roll the ball and get the saran wrap to unroll rather than rip. It's flying everywhere, and you're trying to catch it as you're trying to keep going, because you know, we're trying to get the most out of it. And once they hit doubles, you have to pass it to the next person and then it just continues on like that.

Brittany: See, I think stuff like this is going to be fun when the girls get a little bit older. 

Nichelle: Absolutely. 

Brittany: If we tried to do that now, they would be like, okay, can I eat this dice?

Nichelle: I'm going to be over here with a tootsie roll, I'm good.

Brittany: Yeah. I feel like there's so many family traditions that I can't wait to do or things that we should incorporate this and make this a tradition. Just FYI, you can literally make anything, a tradition.

Nichelle: We made a saran wrap ball a tradition. 

Brittany: And I don't want to wish away these younger years and be like, oh, I can't wait until they're a little bit older and we can start doing that, because I definitely love this stage we're in. But hearing these kind of stories, I'm like, I can't wait for them to appreciate these fun games that we can play and stuff like that.

 I love that. Oh man. It's crazy that we're at the end of 2021. This year flew by. 

Nichelle: It did, in so many different ways. Personally for me, professionally, for me, it makes me think of my mom saying don't waste your life away. Whenever I was 18 wanting to be 21. Then when I was 21, wanting to be 25. Don't wish your life way it'll fly by at a certain point. Damn you're right. 

Brittany: I figured it would be fun to do a year in review. There were so many things that happened this year. We started out in January. I took the first week off in January, which is a new thing that I started last year, was taking one week off every quarter. And so for the first one was the first week in January and we went on vacation with my parents and had some great quality, family time. No Instagram. It was awesome. And then I came back and decided on, instead of doing a new year's resolution last year was a first year that I did a word of the year. And I think somebody, I don't know who it was that gave me this idea, maybe it was somebody that follows me on Instagram, sent me a message and was like, this would be really cool thing. So I picked a word of the year, and last year my word of the year was kind or kindness. I always want people to come here and leave feeling wow, she was kind in that. Does that mean I'm going to be kind every single day? We're human. I have my flaws for sure. And I'm sure there were days in 2021 where that word went out the window and I wasn't kind. I think making a word and then like consciously remembering this word is important to me this year. 

Nichelle: And you come up with that word for that reason. It's because we're not perfect. You know what I mean? In any way, so it's to grow and to make ourselves better. So anytime we're in that moment of doubt or, hardship or whatever. We just remind ourselves, oh, always start with kindness. 

Brittany: I think coming off of 2020, and everything that went on in that year, and then with my job and my platform. A lot of times I get messages from people who, if I don't have the opinion that they want me to have, then they get mad at me for that. Which, if you listen to what I just said, that doesn't make sense. But it happens. So I found myself always thinking we might not agree here. Even if somebody else is not being kind to me, I can always make the decision to, be kind back to them. And even if that means not a response at all. Maybe there's just no way I can be kind back. But that's me choosing to be kind is by not responding. Another thing that kind of landed me on this word was you have no idea what anybody else is going through.

Nichelle: Yeah. True.

Brittany: If your interaction with a stranger is kind, maybe will leave a better taste in their mouth. That's one reason I really wanted to stick with that word and I feel like I did. There were a lot of situations I had to choose being kind and reminding myself that. As we expanded the Loverly Grey team, we wrote out brand pillars and some different things that we got nitty gritty with our brand. One thing we wanted to always be, was kind, and that was something very important that we put in our pillar. Even though it was 2021's word, it will still continue. I almost want to build an ongoing library of words that I just keep going with. 

Nichelle: It's a core value that we decided this brand was about. That's who you are at heart. We thought that's where it needed to start. So I think it will forever be the number one that all of us remember. As a team too.

Brittany: I think so, too. We're talking through about what my next word will be. We're still trying to decide, but I think we're leaning towards the word fearless for 2022. There's a lot of things coming that I think that word gives me the courage and reminds me that I can be fearless, let's do this. 

Nichelle: Absolutely. 

Brittany: Let's not be afraid to try new things and try hard things. I think that's what we're going to land on, but we will see. We'll talk probably more about that in our next episode. Actually this is the last episode of our first season.

Nichelle: It is. I think Lain said we rounded out at 15 episodes for 2021.

Brittany: It is so wild to think. So back to this year, so many things happened. January happened, great. I feel like in February we started interviewing for a position. I just needed a right hand, man local to me, we found Nichelle. She started in March, which is so wild that it's only been since March, that you've been on board here. Then I feel like we really just got things rolling.

Nichelle: Yeah. We made sure momentum was running wild.

Brittany: And I think we both had this passion of let's go. We have goals. And really sitting down and writing out goals backwards from 10 years. That was so important. And that really set the pace for what we accomplished through the rest of the year and where we're going in the next few years. That was so important. So if you are a small business owner or maybe you're another influencer, and you're feeling in this rut, definitely take time, even if that's a day or two days or a week to really pause and slow down so that you can speed up. That was so important for us. And we had a big team meeting where everybody who worked for Loverly Grey came together and we had a big brainstorming session. We had a midyear review. It was a really awesome time to just see what we've accomplished and then what we want to continue accomplishing. So that was really fun. We bought an office house. Which has been such an amazing thing. So when Michelle started, she was coming to my house every day, during the week. It was hard for me to have separation of work and home and Hazel was still at home five days. We have a nanny. And so she was there with the nanny, but then Nichelle and I were in there, and then Chris works from home. His office is like a separate garage, office, behind our house, that's where he works. And so he could like physically leave the house and go outside and do his work in his office. But it was distracting and we were trying to do all these high level things and we got to the point where we're like, okay, we know the team is going to grow this year. We can't keep inviting more people into our house and everybody function well and be able to fully do their job to the best of their ability. So when we came up with this idea to potentially buy another house that we could use as an office, it was crazy. And honestly, we were like, let's see what Chris has to say about this. Naturally, he was like, no, and look where we are now.

Nichelle: Thank you, Chris. 

Brittany: But it makes sense for what we do here.

Nichelle: It does. It just didn't make sense to rent an office area that had cubicles. This is a brand that is to inspire. You can't inspire if you can't put things that are visually appealing around you. It just didn't make sense. That's the cool thing about this town too. There's so many businesses. It's a smaller town vibe. Big town, but it's also smaller town where businesses are run out of these homes. It's this historic vibe going down here in Athens. So it's not weird here for us to be in a house as an office. Whereas I know a lot of people have lots of questions. They're like, wait, you have a house for an office? 

Brittany: Yes, it's wild. And I remember people on Instagram were like, I don't understand. It's so common here to run your business out of a house. There's no beds here. All of the rooms are offices, and desks and tables or whatever. But that's just what made the most sense. And once we expand and need more room, then this will be an investment property that we can rent to college students. There's so much potential. And so it ended up being a great plan and the market was crazy. 

Nichelle: Think about if we were buying now. It was actually brilliant. 

Brittany: Yeah. it was crazy. So then that happened in the summer and we moved into the office house. One thing we knew we wanted, when we set up our goal list was the podcast. And this was on an even longer goal list back in 2018, but it just never really came to fruition. There were other things going on. It just didn't feel like the right time. Here we are 15 episodes into our first season. It's just crazy to think.

Nichelle: That it was a goal on a piece of paper at one point. 

Brittany: Yeah. It's funny because I think of some of those other goals on that same piece of paper that are going to come to light next year. It has to be so pumped up for what's to come. Let's see, I'm sure I'm missing major things throughout this time, but we went to Cleveland for Sis kiss. I designed a collection with the Sis kiss and it's a dainty, five piece jewelry collection. We went up there to do like a photo shoot and shoot all the pieces and finalize the collection and make sure everything was perfect and ready for you guys. And then we ended up launching it in October. It was a really fun time to meet some of my followers. I've had this relationship with Megan from the Sis kiss for years. And so it was really fun to be face to face. That was a great trip. Our Loverly Grey team expanded again in the month of August. There were challenges around that, because literally my new team started and then I got COVID. So it was like welcome to Loverly Grey, I'll be quarantining for two weeks. So things we had to overcome there. We signed on with a new management team. There was so much newness that happened in Q3 and Q4 of this year. It wasn't all like rainbows and butterflies. This year as a whole, I feel like. There were stressful times. There was high anxiety. There were lots of tears. There were lots of is this the right thing? I don't know if I can do this. How can I make this more simple? It feels hard. Reaching those goals. No one said it was going to be easy. Nothing in life worth having is easy. That's where I feel like I started having conversations with some amazing people, with therapists. Started changing the way, I was thinking about things and realizing that the weight of the world doesn't have to sit on my shoulders. I feel like I'm still in that realization stage of, it's okay. In one of our previous episodes, we talked about time and how we felt like we didn't have enough time to do things. That was something I really struggled with throughout this year. Because I want to continue running this thriving business and do bigger things and do more, but want to want to cherish the time that I have with my little ones. To be present when I am spending that time. Those are all things that I work on daily. So while all these amazing things have happened this year, they've also come with tears and struggle and anxiety. But hard work.

There's so much that gets poured into this that has made it even more worth it. Every single step of the way. 

Nichelle: I just think of all the lessons that were learned in the process. Whereas in the moment, we're looking at each other going oh my gosh, what's next? Or, what is the right move? It was every step of this year led to right here in this moment. Which made all of it worth it, honestly. It's a mind game at the end of the day. You and I are wired very similarly, we're both threes. If you don't know your enneagram definitely look into it because it tells you so much about who you are and those that are around you. . It's always okay, what's next. Okay. What's next. Okay. You're thinking that I can't do it? Guess what? We're going to show you that we can do that plus more.

We never go into anything easy. It's always let's go all in. Let's just do it all 

Brittany: But I like that it, I feel like that's what keeps me going. But then I think there's a balance that has to come along with that because the negative part of a three is the overwhelm and then just wanting to stop. Being like we're done here. I'm giving up. Even though that's not really what is going to happen. Like you said, there's been a ton of lessons, and a lot of good that will take into the next year and a lot of opportunities for growth that we'll continue working on.

It's just crazy to think of everything that happened in 2021. 

Nichelle: Agree. I think that we come up with our personal words and then a team word. That way we have balance. 

Brittany: That's true. This is very true. That's always a good thing. I'm excited because our team is actually going to be growing again in 2022, which is so fun and exciting.

Be on the lookout, if you've heard of anybody or know anybody who's local, who would be a great fit to join team, Loverly Grey we'd love to hear from you or from them. We'll put our email address in the show notes and feel free to email your resume. We'll send out some more information, but that's one thing that we're going to be working on next year. I can't tell any of these big secrets yet. There's a lot of potential. 

Nichelle: Just know it's big. 

Brittany: It's going to be good. We can't wait. We're giddy over here with what is to come. Actually, I'd mentioned that this is the last episode of this season and of this year. I am so excited because I'm taking off two weeks after Christmas.

Nichelle: Go you. 

Brittany: It's going to be amazing. Last year, I took one week off the first week in January and I realized, I was like, I feel like I probably could have made that into two weeks just with the week after Christmas is pretty slow. And then the the first week in January. And so I'm really excited to just take time away, reset my mind, spend time with family. I think Chris and I are going to try and go on a little getaway, but I also plan to do things like organize my closet and do a big clean out and organize the kids' clothes and clean out their closets. I feel like I almost need to do a spring cleaning, because I'll have the time. A friend of mine actually gave me a book the other day, so I'm going to read that. I'm really excited to spend some time doing nothing, which will be great. My hope is that I'll come back like super refreshed and recharged and even some of the ideas of content that we will be immediately pushing out once I get back in January, I'm like, how can we put a fresh spin on this? How can we do this better than what we did last year? I think January is always a fun time to set things up for the year. Like last year and in years past, really, since I started my blog, I always did like a work wear post during the week. I always did it usually Wednesdays, because that kind of like work wear Wednesday. Just went. So we're going to refresh that again because I know with the holidays we've gotten away from sharing workwear and that's what I started Loverly Grey sharing and I don't think that's shared enough in this space. The series will be coming back, but we're going to try to figure out a way to make it even bigger and better and more useful. So you guys can really create these pieces that are staples in your closet. Then you can add in, statement pieces here and there as needed. So that'll be really fun. Yeah, I'm excited for 2022. I have big things to come. Big things coming. So in wrapping up this episode, I want to encourage you guys to think about what you want to take into 2022 and what you want to leave behind in 2021.

I think a few things I want to leave behind are some doubts that I had this year, some worry. While I think those things will more than likely pop back up again,

Nichelle: They're not going to actually be left behind, but yes.

Brittany: I think having an attitude around knowing how to combat those ideas, and using my word of the year, fearless, to overcome some of those things. I guess I just want to encourage you guys to also think about what that looks like for you. Come up with a word of the year that you feel like is something that you can stick to and think about what you want to leave behind this year. Whether that's a feeling maybe want to want to go and get something and there's this internal feeling that is pulling you back from moving towards your goal. You can make the decision to leave that behind. And I hope you spend the next few weeks really figuring what that is. I can't wait to hear what some of y'all's words of the year is going to be. I remember last year, after I decided that my word of the year was kind, I encouraged you guys to do the same. I put up a question box and I was like, what did you decide on? So many people were responding with their words and then why they chose that word.

Nichelle: Oh, that's awesome. 

Brittany: Everybody's word is going to be unique to them. Make sure that it is. You're finding this word that will benefit you. It was just so cool to see what people were going to do, what their goals to overcome or what their goals to do was. I can't wait to see what some of those ideas are from you guys next year. So I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, hope you enjoy time with family. And I hope you can take a break and then a happy new year.

And then I will see you guys in 2022 until next year.

Thanks for listening to today's episode. I can't wait to continue these conversations with you over on Instagram at Life with Loverly. Until next time. 

That was perfect.

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