Friday, September 30, 2011

Girls Party!!

I am so excited to announce my first event in correlation with That's Better. and Sarah from Hemenway Street!  Since we've been working on developing so many relationships with women, I thought: 

'Why not plan a fun event where girls can come, bring their girlfriends, meet new ones, and enjoy the beautiful New England fall with a lil' craft and treat!'

So.. here's the plan!  We'll be going apple/pumpkin picking just out of the city then back to Boston to decorate glitter pumpkins and make dipped apple slices with our goodies!  

Purchases at the pumpkin patch will be at your discretion, but 
the craft decorating/treat making is only $10 to cover supplies!

Oh my goodness I'm so excited!!  Can't wait to see you ladies!!

Email questions/RSVP to 
Join the party and Grab a Button!!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

New City: New Girlfriends.

When I first moved to Boston one of the hardest things to leave behind was all of my old friends.  It's rough starting from scratch in a city you don't know, but there are ways to do it!  And hey, even if you're not in a city that's unfamiliar to you, but you'd like to meet other girls who are, check out this list and go make some new friends!  :)

15 Ways to Expand Your Single Girl Network- Meeting New Girlfriends in a City as a Young Single Professional
  1. Say yes to every invitation!  Go to everything you discover, even multiple events in 1 night
  2. Do things solo!  This forces you to interact with someone new.
  3. Make the first move!  Get over your fear of getting out of your bubble and say hi to someone!  Most likely they’ll say hi back and boom!  Convo started!
  4. Try new things and get out of doing just the familiar.  Get in new surroundings to meet new people.
  5. Mingle mingle mingle!!  Set a goal to converse w/ a least 3 new people at every outing and to exchange info w/ at least 1
  6. Put. the cell phone.  DOWN!  It is a security blanket, and makes you seem unapproachable.  Put the phone away, sit up straight, and take in your surroundings like you don’t have a care in the world and you will appear more attractive, more confident, and more interesting.  And much more easy to approach!
  7. Join a volunteer organization
  8. Join a sports league
  9. Join a group
  10. Take a class (cake decorating: double bonus here...) or go sit next to someone new in class.
  11. Go meet your neighbors!
  12. Arrange a post work happy hour
  13. Utilize the 6 degrees of separation.  Have a friend who knows a friend in your city?  go grab a drink!
  14. Go to church
  15. Invite someone out to lunch! 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Better Daughters, Stronger Sisters.

With this being the last week in September, and therefore the last week that I'm really focusing on changing how you view other women, I think it's kind of a big deal to mention one group of women in particular that almost everyone can improve their relationship with: 
the women in your family.

I am such a big fan of the family and the strengthening and unconditional support they provide!  And while I realize that not everyone has an ideal situation here to deal with, the reality is that nothing in life is ideal and you have to work with what you've got and move forward with it.
I lost my mother to cancer about 3 1/2 years ago, and in the time since my Dad has remarried I have come to know and love his new wife so incredibly much!  As you can imagine, this was not an easy situation for anyone to deal with, but thankfully the Lord put a new, amazing woman in our lives and she has been nothing but kind and loving since the day we met.
Her stout support for me has been so incredibly appreciated, especially during times where I'm not even sure if I can do what I'm thinking of doing!  

Just to give you an idea of how awesome she really is, here's a little story for ya.  I was a having a rough day earlier this week and in knowing that she would do it in an instant, I just sent a quick little text to her asking her to say a prayer for me that my heart would be still and my spirit would be strong in helping me get through the situation and be who I want to be.  

Here was her response:
"Yes, Stephanie, I had already prayed for you this morning, and will continue.  Of course!  Your spirit is and will be strong!!  And that dear heart, I pray that peace will was over it.  I know who you are Stephanie and why Heavenly Father saved your strong, valiant spirit to be here on earth now.  Whatever it is, you WILL come through!  Now I just have to calm my pounding heart over worrying about what is happening.  I love you.

Now, I promise I'm not trying to toot my own horn here by including her response, but isn't she just awesome?!  

I just think of what life would be like without having the sweet women in my family in my life and it makes my heart sink.  And while we're so incredibly far apart from one another (Utah, KY and Boston) it's so crucial to do anything in your power to keep that line of communication open and continually strengthen your relationship so you can give them as much support and love as possible in life. 

So as a few extra TBDs for ya, try out a few of the ways below in order to strengthen those relationship with the women in your family.   I know it's a huge source of joy and comfort in my life and it can be in yours, too! :)

1. Write your Mom a note today and tell her THANK YOU for giving you life, among other things.

2. Call your sister(s) today and talk for at least 20 minutes, even if you have nothing in particular to talk about.  See what's going on in her life.  CARE ABOUT THE DETAILS.
3. Ask your mom about what her life was like when she was your age.  What was she doing?  Was she in love?  What did she see in her future?
4. Having a fight with one of your sisters?  Put yourself in her shoes and try to understand her perspective first.  Then help her understand yours.

5. Having boy trouble?  Instead of keeping it in, try talking to your sister about it.  If it's not boys, what do you not talk to them about?  Share a part of your life with them that you normally wouldn't.  
6. You and your sister aren't the same.  Embrace your differences and try doing something their way instead of yours!

7. Have a clothing trade with your sisters!  (I used to do this all the time growing up, but they always got mad about it then... probably because I never told them we were trading! :) )

8. Introduce your girlfriends to your Mom today.  How well does she know your best friends?

9. Call your grandmother today.  If she's no longer with us, say a prayer thanking God for her and the legacy she left for you.

10. Gather pictures together of the girls in your family together.  If you don't have any, get together and take some!  Then make a collage and give it to everyone who's a part of it.  Pictures are worth more than a thousand words. :)

Friday, September 23, 2011


Oh my goodness,
just posted today's 
and just got 

That One Girl...

So I have this new love that I know many of you share...
It's called Pinterest.  :)
And it's awesome.

It's awesome for lots of reasons, but it's really awesome because it lets me put things that remind me 'I CAN DO IT' all in one place where I get to them when I need them.  
And lately, I've been needing them. 
Ya know how I've been talking about competition among women lately?  
Well it reflects what's going on in my life and how I think we can all be better.  But lately, there's one woman I've been competing with that I just can't seem to get over.

I get down on myself for so much!  
I haven't done enough.
I don't look good enough.
I'm not social enough.
I eat too much.
That's Better isn't where I want it to be yet.

I know it's good to self-constructive criticize, but good golly sometimes it's hard to just stop there!
Negativity breeds negativity and that is a vicious cycle to start.
But really, it's all just in your mind anyways, 
and you can control what goes on up there!

So as a message to myself and any{every}one else out there who feels like they're just fighting a neverending battle all {or even just part of} the time... 
You Can Do It!!
Dream big.

Work hard.

Don't give up.
And above all else, 
Have faith.

My love to you AND me,

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Such a Thing as Healthy Competition?

Since I’ve decided to really run with That’s Better and see if I can make it my full-time future, I’ve been discussing my ideas with a lot more people than I ever have in the past.  As a subsequent result, nearly every project I’m working on in school this semester focuses around the intervention that That’s Better stands to be and how to do that in the best way.  As I was explaining my vision for That’s Better to a classmate today, I explained the current campaign we’re working on and how the women of our generation (but really women in general) have hyperstimulated drives to compete within our own kind.  
It’s like we’re a bunch of dueling peacocks here who just try to show up anyone else who could possibly stand in our way of getting what we want, despite the fact that these other ‘anyones’ could just be the key to actually reaching our goals due to the support and insight they can provide.  
But I digress.  :)
My colleague, however, brought up an interesting point that I thought was worth mentioning: Isn’t some degree of competition good though?  And if so, how do you identify when the competition is unhealthy?
There is a healthy degree of competition we can all be motivated by which can push us to work harder at school, get dressed in the morning, and fight for the things we want just a little bit harder.

And just as with everything else, everyone is unique in the levels of things they can tolerate.  While you may just love competing with everyone you see so you can always come out on top, your friends might not like it so often.  And even if you think you can hide it from them because it’s all in your head, they can still tell.  
Need I mention Jill and Bethenny?  :)
The whole reason those two “broke up” was because Jill couldn’t get the competition frame out of her mind.  She constantly felt like she was competing with Bethenny and that Bethenny was always winning.  But in reality, there was no competition at all and it ruined a totally great friendship.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ways to Build Relationships: Time.

I’ve always had a problem with working too much and not spending enough time hanging out doing who knows what with my friends.  
I guess you could say I’ve acted like a Middle-Aged Workaholic since I was 16.
It wasn’t until after undergrad that I really started to notice the chasm in my life from having loads of somewhat distant friends and a void of really good ones.  
Lucky for me, though, God put a few amazing girlfriends in my life that really helped show me what I could improve on.  I’m still not sure why, but those dear sweet girls always invited me to do things, always asked me how I was doing, and always genuinely wanted and tried to understand how I was feeling.  
And those are marks of a great friend!
So this week, while we’re not thinking negative or competitive thoughts about other girls, let’s go a step further and make our girlfriends our priorities and spend more time with them in person than we do on facebook. :)  
So you might be thinking, “Psh, Steph, this is common sense!  If you spend time with people you can obviously develop a better relationship with them!”
Well “Psh” nothin!  That’s Better is here to highlight healthy ways to improve your life and make you happier, and for me, recognizing the need to spend more time with the people I love is a HUGE improvement.  So far, though, I’ve been focusing on my family {which is great}, but it sure helps in life to have some solid {girl}friends goin’ through it, too.  Besides, I’m not that unique in life, so I know that if I’ve had a problem saying ‘No’ to work and turning down that pad in the paycheck to hang out with my friends someone else is having it, too.  
In fact, I have that exact problem tonight!  It’s a girlfriend’s birthday and, of course, I’m scheduled at work.  But hey, I don’t just talk medicine here, I take it, too!  
Text everyone to see who can cover me: CHECK.
I’ll hold my feet to the fire here though and let you know how it all turns out. :)  I’m hoping I can make it to the bumper cars and batting cages though so I can work on building those relationships.  
After all, at the end of the day the month the year your life it’s nice to look back and see people who really know and love you and not just an inanimate paycheck that you can’t share memories with. 
This girlfriend is a lil' bit crazy ;)  LOVE YOU BRIT!!

So obvi the thing to do here is put down work {whatever other category of life you’re imbalanced with} and prioritize time for the people in your life who can help build you up and whom you can be there for as well.  Balance is beauty.
To see today’s
go here!  

Then tell me about your plans to spend more time with your girlfriends this week!  As always, I’ll even go first to help ease you into it ;)
Have a FABULOUS day, ladies!  Much love from me!
PS  Remember Kate?  She’s going to be there tonight! :)  Seriously, don’t think I’m crazy for turning a frenemy into a friend here, it’s totally underrated!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Friendships Aren't Competition

A huge problem that's incredibly pervasive among our generation of women is that we are constantly competing with one another.  
Who's smarter?  
Who's prettier?  
Who's more fun?  
Who's got hotter clothes?
In a day where we are able to interact with a monumentally larger amount of people through travel, internet, etc., we can always find someone who has 1-uped us in any area of life.  This not only creates huge problems with our own global self-esteem, but it can affect our mood and our emotions.  And the ripple effect from there is endless!  
Seriously, this needs to stop!  
So I met a girl last year, we’ll call her Kate, and every time I ran into her (which was on a pretty frequent basis) she always came off as being very cold and uninviting.  I’m a pretty happy and bubbly person, so I just couldn’t figure out why I was getting this response from her!  I was being nice, and I never said anything mean or even sarcastic, so there wasn’t even the chance that she could’ve taken something the wrong way.  At the time I was the new girl around, and because our paths crossed at so many different times during the week I felt like she was being overly protective of her world and that if she let me in even a little it would severely threaten her place in it.  It started to make me feel uncomfortable and I noticed that I even began changing some of the things I did just to avoid her!

I ended up becoming good friends with another girl who has known Kate for a long time who was able to explain to me that Kate is simply very guarded at first and is just wary of letting people into her life
for fear of being burned.  

How much can I relate to that?
My perspective towards Kate changed from seeing her as a girl who was icy and kind of frigid to someone I really wanted to get to know better!  I really felt we could relate to one another on quite a few levels if we could just get past the first step of seeing each other in the wrong frame.  And after all, we were running into each other more frequently, so it could benefit us both if we could figure out a way to become friends instead of competition.
I’ve become incredibly better friends with her now, and we've even started to hang out outside of our usual settings together!  I can honestly say that changing the way I see her has totally helped me drop my own barriers about developing a friendship with her.  
What does this matter to you?  Well, if you’re anything like me and have any barriers that keep you from getting to know someone better, particularly that you see them as competition, REFRAME IT!  Don't see them as someone you have to be better than, see them as someone you can support and who can support you.  After all, that's what a friendship is for.
It shouldn’t be a competition.
So to go with September's challenge of developing healthier relationships with other girls, check out 
then email me your experience!  Send it to: 

Ooh I'm so excited!!  If I can change my life, you can change yours!!
And That's Better!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Campaign #1: Better Girlfriends

Campaign #1: Better Girlfriends
First off, we are going to do something extraordinary here!
{Just thought you should know that!}
One of the most vital things we as young ladies can do in our lives is to develop strong, healthy friendships with other girls.  As I’ve mentioned before, our society has done a really great job of convincing us that we should always be in competition with our girlfriends and of reformatting our brains so that we easily look for the flaws in other women in order to make ourselves feel better.  
Think back through your day yesterday.  
Did you criticize the women around you, even if it was just in your mind?
That’s unhealthy.
And it’s actually more than just unhealthy, it’s toxic!  Not only to your relationships with others, but to your relationship with yourself!  {But more about that in January...}

Our first 30-Day Challenge is to create better relationships with the other girls you interact with!  They could be:
-the girl you don’t know in class
-the girl who lives down the hall
-the girl who’s your boss at work
-the girl you see at a party and 
immediately have jealous thoughts about!
And since it's our first one, let's even cut it down from 30 days to just the end of the month!
{So you can ease into how cool these challenges will be :) }

To start off, simply introduce yourself to someone you don’t know!  Breaking the ice is one of the biggest barriers to getting to know new girlfriends, so go on and break it!
Right here, right now!
Introduce yourself to the That’s Better Community in a comment below and let us get to know you!
Tell us:
1. Your Name + where you're from
2. Something you’re in love with right now
3. Something unique about yourself
4. Something you love doing with your girlfriends

Super simple!  
Oh, too simple for ya?
Then go out and introduce yourself to someone IN PERSON. :)
Then come back and tell us how that went!

Life is more enjoyable with better girlfriends.  So start living more enjoyably!
Before You Go!

Follow me on twitter @sjonnel for a daily challenge on this month’s topic!  
Check out today’s TBD!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Campaign for Your Health!

Now Introducing... 
Campaign For Your Health

‘That’s Better’ has just received a new facelift, and with that it’s getting a new spirit lift, as well!  I’ve been chatting up an upcoming new format on here for about three weeks now, and the time has come to put it up... So here it is!

As a health marketing {soon to be} professional it is my job to promote healthy behaviors in ways that make you want to:
eat an apple instead of apple pie,
go to the gym instead of lounge on the couch, and
talk about your emotions instead of just boxing them all up.
So what better way to do that than to launch a
campaign for your Health!?
‘What is that?’ you ask?  Well here!  Let me tell you!

Starting tomorrow, ‘That’s Better’ will issue a 30-day challenge to you to improve your health on the topic chosen for that month!
During that challenge, you’ll be asked to 
-change the way you see things related to that health topic
-label yourself in positive ways relating to that topic
-make your life better by choosing a way to improve something and make it the norm
and more!
Throughout these challenges you’ll not only see your own life improve, but you’ll be able to tell your story to others, read their stories, too, and support someone else as they face the same challenges in life that you have.
[Because let's be honest, I know there are girls out there reading this who aren't following this blog publicly but are constantly reading it to find inspiration, motivation and ways to improve their own lives.  WE ARE HERE FOR YOU!!]

Because we’re all similar here in one way or another, even if just by the fact that we’re Gen Y girls who want to live amazing, happy, healthy lives.
So what’s the hold up?!  Click ‘Join This Site’ over on the right, and start going after the best life you can imagine, right now!  
I guarantee it will change your life.

And That's Better.

Rendez-Vous and Support For YOU!

So as you’ve seen on here a lot lately, Rendez-Vous New England was this weekend, and I have been REALLY excited for it as it’s my first blogger meet-up!  I could not have been more elated and inspired by the ladies I met this weekend, and the amazing network of support they have already become for me!  Let me explain why this was all so perfect...
It’s my vision for ‘That’s Better’ to be a community of young women where we can all be striving to constantly improve something in our lives and support one another in those attempts.  Whether it’s building your self-esteem (which, let’s be honest, we can all use some days...), developing healthier, stronger relationships with other girls, striving to think more positively, or working to be physically healthier, the young women of ‘That’s Better’ are always trying to improve SOMETHING in their lives, and are always supportive and encouraging of everyone else who’s a part of the community.  

My point in bringing that up is that we can ALL use a little more positive encouragement and support in working towards our goals in life, and I’m not excluded from that group!  One of the main thoughts that has driven the development of ‘That’s Better’ is my own experience with depression and other battles I see girls fighting everyday that I know they can get through {because I’ve done it myself}.  

Of these challenges, one of the most paralyzing and insanely prevalent ones is self-doubt and negativity.
These kinds of thoughts are just consuming and can literally stop you from where you want to go in life if you don’t actively fight against them.  And you don’t have to do it alone!  There are soo many other girls who have been in that place and want to support you!!  Prime example: After meeting tons of great, new girls at Rendez-Vous and just explaining my idea for ‘That’s Better’ to them I garnered so much support it nearly brought me to tears!!  The echoing agreement that I received of how much we as young women need a place to:
-provide ways by which we can develop every aspect of our lives to live healthier and happier,
-see that others are going through or have gone through the same feelings/situations/mentalities that we are going through...and that they got through it {and so can we...}
-support one another in our goals and lives
was amazing!  I would be a phony if I said that I haven’t had immense thoughts of self-doubt and discouragement for this project, but my experiences this weekend have simply reaffirmed, even in my own mind, that the world needs ‘That’s Better’.  
I need ‘That’s Better’.

And it is my overwhelming gratitude to be the one to start it.
So join me, join us, in launching a movement in support of our health and in support of each other.  The world doesn’t need more women to compete, it needs more women to compliment.  And it’s our goal to see that happens, because THAT’S BETTER.  :)
With love,