Q+A Jillian Parham from BABE Beauty Bar


Your Face. Cosmetics. Makeup. War Paint. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s heart skips a beat at the mention of the stuff. There’s just nothing like sitting down in front of a big bright mirror and getting all … Continue reading

Smart Goals – T is for Timely


So you want to loose 10 lbs. That’s nice. But when do you want to lose it by? Goals need to be anchored by a time frame.

Otherwise, you’ll have no sense of urgency. Saying you want to loose 10 lbs by “Someday” won’t get you up and moving. But let’s say you wanted to loose it by April 30th, right before bikini season. A Timely plan will help you set your unconscious mind into motion! All you have to do now is get your body in motion.

Time-Bound goals mean deadlines. When you work under that deadline, all of a sudden your sense of urgency kicks in. Your achievements come that much quicker!



I think my best goal to evaluate here is Moving Out. If you’re like me and you’ve moved out before and failed – yeah that’s no fun. And the entire reason it fell through is because the Timing Was All Wrong. I moved out right after I lost a job, the first week of a new school year, and I had no savings. Honestly, you couldn’t have waved that red flag in my face. I didn’t catch it – I went ahead and signed the lease.

So looking at a timeframe now, I’m gonna keep in mind that

1) I also want to go on a trip. Should I move out first? Or wait and see what my savings look like.

2) If I land an internship, I will be working less hours and making less money. Can I support myself?

3)Why did I double my savings? For trip, internship, or moving?

4) First semester at a University? Should I wait out my first semester and make sure I can handle the assignment load with working to pay bills?

I’m definitely gonna wait on moving! In fact, It might be better off waiting longer than a year! It’s something I need to look into now that I’ve evaluated it! Are you noticing any changes in your time table for your goals?


Smart Goals – R is for Realistic


To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. Goals should be relevant to the direction you want your life and career to take.A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be.

Here’s what you need to remember about the big goals. Some of the hardest jobs you ever accomplished actually seem easy. Why? Because you’re driven by passion and enthusiasm.

That being said, you want to make sure you set goals you can stay passionate and enthusiastic about it. This will give you motivation when you’re jumping obstacles and things get really tough.

You also don’t want to set goals based on trends or fads. If we did that, I would be a dolphin training, film producing, fashion designing school. And I wouldn’t be passionate about a single one of them. You have to give your dreams time to sit or you’ll end up wasting your time. Set widely scattered and inconsistent goals, and you’ll fritter your time – and your life – away.

We can’t have that! See you all tomorrow when we evaluate our goals for the last element of a Smart Goal!


Smart Goals – A is for Achievable

A is for Achievable. Or Attainable. You pick your favorite term and stick to it!


So let’s say you’re looking at your goals. Let’s look at some Do’s and Don’ts to get a better idea of what an Achievable goal looks like.


set goals outside your limits – or at least your time frame for expanding your skills, ability, or financial capacity. Setting goals you have no hope for achieving will only kill your confidence. I’m not saying don’t dream big. I’m just saying, don’t quit your job to pursue your life long dream of joining the Russian Circus. Dude, you’re not even a gymnast.


Set goals too easy. Talk about anticlimactic. If you didn’t have to work for it, it’s not a true achievement. Soon you’ll get too cozy in the comfort zone and you’ll develop a fear to pursue higher opportunities.


Set goals that require you to “raise the bar”. Think realistic yet challenging. Before you know it, you’ll see your attitude, skill, financial capacity – you name it – getting stronger.  You will see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.


Keep positive. When challenges arise, you may find yourself doubting your decisions. Really, you just have to keep at it. Find a coach, mentor, trainer to help you keep chugging along. Whatever you do – don’t give up!

I’ve got a good one! Let’s look!



Land an advertising internship. I don’t want to brag, but I think this is completely achievable! Especially with my first semester at UT coming up, I will be armed with the knowledge and skill set the companies could really use!

I know I’m pretty lacking in the knowledge right now. I’ve been running on passion lately – but that’s all you need to get started! I also know that if I want to attain this time consuming internship – I’m going to have to cut back on hours at work. This means I might need to pump up my savings account. Which is also on my goals list!  Because I have some time until summer internships begin, I will have to work hard, budget hard, and study hard. PLUS I need to begin networking now so I will stand out of the crowd.

All in all, I’d totally call this an achievable goal! What about yours? How can you tweak yours to fit a more achievable standard?


Smart Goals – M is for Measurable


Are your goals Smart Goals? We’ve already introduced why we need Smart Goals (recap). We also made sure they were Specific enough (recap). Today, we’re making sure our goals are Measurable! Why do we need Measurable goals, you ask?

Because when you measure your progress, you stay on track better. Target dates are within reach.

This aspect can be fun because when you finally hit the mark, you get so pumped and you become that much more driven towards achieving the final goal. Basically, this whole step is making up as many excuses to celebrate as possible.When you’re setting your goals, here’s what you should be asking:

How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished?

Get precise! Use dates! Set mile markers. You want to know your degree of success along the way.  I love this example I found.

If you’re trying to “Reduce Expenses”, that’s cool. How? By a dollar a week? Or 10% a month? How will you know when you are successful? Or do you want to save 15% every trip to the grocery store? Or, do you just want to trade fine dining for more home meals? Maybe only eat out once a day to cut down.

Without a way to measure your success you miss out on the celebration that comes with knowing you have actually achieved something.


I’m gonna look at money here. See where I want to double my savings account total? I was on the right track.

I know how much I have, how much I want to end with, and how much I want to increase. So that’s good. But maybe I could do better here.

I want to eat out up to Twice a week only. That will cost $XX amount, and will save me XX amount a month. That can go directly into my savings account. At that rate, I’ll be rich! Every time I eat only once, or none at all, it will be a minor victory!

It’s all about taking the victories as they come. Don’t be afraid to celebrate. Just don’t celebrate saving $5 by ordering a fine lobster dinner. Comprende?

Smart Goals – S is for Specific

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You’re just in time for Smart Goal Setting Training! Today’s challenge – Set Specific Goals:

9 times out of 10, vague and generalized goals go completely underachieved. Why?

Because undefined goals don’t provide sufficient direction! Why do we even set goals, especially short term ones? They are stepping stones to the rest of our lives. Define your goals as precisely as possible to help you in the direction you want to go.  To set a specific goal you must answer the W’s.

Who  — Who all is involved?

What — What am I trying to accomplish?

Where — Location, Location, Location?

When — What is the time frame?

Which — Any requirements or constraints involved?

Why — Purpose of achieving goals?

Let’s look at mine.



Let’s look at a Strong one from my list –  Rock my GPA for my first year at UT.

Who — Well, Me!  But also my advisers and teachers who will help me decide which classes pair best so I don’t get overwhelmed with assignments.

What — I want to end my year with a good GPA

When — My first year, but in all actuality, I need to keep my GPA up for the entire length of my major. Gotta keep my eye on the long term goals!

Where  — University of Tennessee Knoxville!

Why — A high GPA means Scholarship money, and that means less student loans to worry about when I’m ready to start my real life


And a Weak one –  Go on a trip.

Wow Phoebz, you need to specify this whole thing!

Who — Me and Sam

What — Go on a trip of some sort – which we will narrow down to hiking or scuba diving.

When — Next Summer

Where — Outside the continental U.S., hopefully. Europe, Canada, Alaska, or Caribbean most definitely. Luckily, we have some flexibility.

Why — Because travel is the best education a person can get! We will have the time and the funds to take this adventure – which could be our last! You never know!


I already feel better now that I know exactly what my goals are! Now look at your goals and ask some W’s. See what you can tweak and redefine.

Need a Refresher?

But Are They Smart Goals?

goal setting

Yeah, I got some goals. I made them up all by myself. I know what I want to do for my career. I want to travel far and wide and often. I want the husband and the babes. I got the big picture framed up all nice and pretty.

When I was little and I would want things – especially in the Barbie isle at Toys-R-Us. Every second I’d be begging “Mommy, I want this! No this one!” And without fail, my mom would say, “It’s nice to want things.”

She wasn’t wrong. It’s awfully nice to have desires and goals. But Mom can’t buy us everything. Now we’re adults and such, everything we want is a matter of identifying, setting goals, working towards and reaching them. Then we can roll around in our accomplishments. But not without first, a plan of action.

You remember this old thing right? S.M.A.R.T. Goals?

From back in elementary school, likely in coloring page form? Sure you do! But in the time since, tell me how often you set a big goal and you’ve stopped and asked, “Hmm, how long is this going to take me? Am I still going to be excited about this in a year?” Because you’ve never gotten trapped in the (enter hobbby/craft/pop culture/fashion obsession here) phase. Right?

Honestly, stop right now and list your top 5 goals for the next year.

What do they look like? Work? Family? School? Relationships? Do you have the slightest idea how to achieve them? Or do you just know you WANT them. Here are mine for example.


Think about your goals. Put on your prioritizing hat and really boil down to the 5 goals you want to accomplish within the next year. What do you want your life to look like in the next 365 days? A lot can happen in that time and while not all of it is in your control, much is directly caused by your decisions.

So you want to make sure you’re making decisions that will make you the happiest person you can be a year from today.

You stew on that for the night. Bring them each day this week and we’ll run our goals through the S.M.A.R.T Test.

Don’t worry, I’m gonna pick apart mine too! Don’t forget to follow Taken By The Lapels on Facebook to get each update!


Polar Bears in Philadelphia Zoo

Don’t let the other post (This One) fool you. My one and only purpose for flying all the way to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is for one thing.


For the FIRST time in my life, I got to see a real life living Polar Bear breathing in front of me!

Let me tell you, I’ve made a lot of decisions in my life, some of which, I am not so proud of.

But making the Polar Bear my favorite animal.

Hands down the only decision that will ever matter in my life.


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So now that purpose in life is achieved, I can live the rest of my life in sheer joy.

In all actuality, Philly Zoo wasn’t that impressive. Besides the bears of course. I mean, the critters were cool. The weather was nice. It was clean enough. I just wan’t wowed as a whole. I mean, I would be back in a heartbeat. I guess I’m just disappointed that I didn’t get to touch any critters. They weren’t frolicking all that much and no one wanted to come to the edge of the exhibit to visit.

I haven’t been to a Zoo in a long time. So maybe, I’m just flashing back to the days when the animals seemed much larger. Or because I never found the elephants or kangaroos. Who knows.

Philly Zoo, It’s been Real. It’s been Fun.

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Pity…Party of One…Your Table Is Ready…

I’ve legitimately been complaining for days. Allergies, School, Work, Seriously I could go on for days. But because I already have, I’m completely calling myself out on it.

These have legitimately been my Facebook Posts this week. Nothing but a Pity Party.


November 2 at 1:40pm ·

A student works 39+ hours while attending college full time, in notably difficult courses many of her classmates have dropped out of or plan to repeat. How does she succeed?
She doesn’t.
November 3 at 10:49am ·

Strapped onto the struggle bus today.
Love is letting her pick out the Netflix movie of the night (a princess movie of course) then letting her sleep on your shoulder from the opening song to the credits.He wasn’t even mad. Love you babe.
November 4 at 9:21pm ·

Knoxville Allergy Season got me like
Knoxville Allergy Season got me like

I have no excuses. It was me. Guilty. Fortunately, I’m feeling so much better. I’ve slept. I finally went grocery shopping. I finished one semester group project. I cleaned out my car, AND put oil and gas in it. I paid my bills, AND I get another check next week.

AND. I got accepted to University of Tennessee. What is this life? Is this what it feels like to be caught up? Almost? It’s marvelous. So now that I’m past my Pity Party, I would just like to apologize to everyone on my friends list. And also remind myself:


Do you ever throw yourself a pity party? Of course you do, we all do! The best way to make up for it is to remember to laugh at yourself. Because seriously, you should never take yourself too seriously. Let yourself be a bum, let yourself complain, but remember to let yourself enjoy the good days.

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