Thanks given through a Flashback

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No, no, and nope. I am not going to be cheesy and start to list all the things that I’m thankful or grateful for because, truth be told, there are too many things to list!

I am not a pessimist, neither am I an optimist. I linger somewhere in the middle because that’s my safe zone. In the past, I’ve had to manage a laundry list of mental health issues and would bounce from one extreme to another. Never feeling mentally strong or stable to understand myself and what I needed verses what I believed I wanted. When I was overly optimistic, I would only focus on the activities that were going “well” and that was it. I would miss the bigger picture or the long term goal because I’d try so hard to stay positive about the present or current situation. Then the opposite happened when my attitude become more pessimistic.

As I was clearing data from my laptop, I stumbled on the picture above. I quickly started to reminisce to that moment in time. I was in the middle of the feeding routine, a mundane task that typically last about hour from start to finish. But a crucial one for my daughters development. This picture was part of a series of shots, each seemingly doing something subtly different; Bella facing out the window or me looking down. As my iPhone was mounted on a tripod in the middle of my kitchen, I set up the self timer to capture us during the routine. Although I didn’t feel very confident wearing such a bold floral quarter sleeve t-shirt, I thought I still looked nice and put together. My hair was tied back into a high ponytail and in my mind, it had bounce, shape and length. Just to see the pictures afterwards and realize the only cute one was sitting still in her high chair wondering what the heck was that black thing doing in the middle of our kitchen.

During my postpartum year, it was unsteady but I kept reminding myself that the moment wouldn’t last. I planned to take it easy on myself for the sake of my mental health, but also wanted to find a way to document what was happening in the moment so I can compare my progress. My biggest fear was to somehow permanently impair my sense of rationality. It was a shakeup year and praying to God for an answer taught me what resiliency really meant.

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The Fashion Portfolio

This was it, the sum of all my classes and lessons of the fashion design associates degree program. From draping classes, to pattern making and figure drawing sessions with nude models. By the time I got to this stage in the program, I was wiped out and had mentally checked out from designing. I was more eager to finish, rather than embracing and learning from the challenging process. I had no vision as to how I was going to turn my whole experience into a career and questioned if I wanted to pursue this for the rest of my life.

But this summer, I decided to take up the challenge to redo my fashion design portfolio. Deep down, I have a desire to figure out a way to turn my skills into a career. I took the summer to reflect on all the lessons that I had learned while in the degree program and started to develop a more positive perspective compared to when I was still in it. School is just one of those experiences where I don’t know how good it is until it’s gone.

Over the summer, I jumped into the process of designing again and this time I followed my own instincts as to what feels right. I’ve changed my idea behind my portfolio by actually thinking of a customer, a women who would be drawn to my looks. I’ve changed the layout of how it’s presented by emphasizing the small details compared to the previous layout. Nothing was left by accident, everything is purposeful because one day soon I’m going to have to explain my thought process of what I’m displaying. The last thing I want to feel is embarrassed for what I am showing.

I’m still spending time making changes and adding more details to every look. I’m not half way done yet but when it is, the sense of accomplishment will make my guilt go away… hopefully lol

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Au revoir l’été & Hola otoño

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What can I say? I was in a writing funk and I felt like something needed to change in order to get the motivation to keep creating content. I’m feeling a lot more organized especially after taking the step to purchase my own domain and customize my whole site to something that would get me inspired to keep going. I started my blog a few years ago with the intention of making interesting content and growing it into something amazing. I learned some valuable lessons through the process of creating but no where near did I get close to the goals I had set for myself. I became upset because I had fallen short and was being dishonest with myself.

Once the summer started I wanted to take that time to reevaluate some life priorities and put things into perspective for myself and family. Now that the new fall season is upon us, I feel centered and focused. I feel like its important for me to constantly stay self aware to admit when I start going astray from where I intended to go and take the time to re-address my direction.

 

Easy Makeup of the Day x A Not So Helpful Guide lol

Honestly, when I feel like crap 💩 I like to do my makeup. Whenever I’m feeling so overwhelmed with different tasks, to do lists, and the on going little details of managing motherhood, I try my best to take a few moments to touch up my a face. Even with just a little bit on, my mood instantly changes from indifferent to motivated and focused. Managing motherhood feels like a challenge every day because you’ve got to learn to balance your own personal needs and the very cautious efforts of parenting and those minutes of just “me time” can make the difference. This feeling is something completely new to me and I only started to really embrace it after I gave birth. This just makes me wonder how much different my attitude about my daily activities would have been if I’d started this routine earlier in life? Why hadn’t another women ever mentioned this and how come its not more commonly mentioned? I don’t feel selfish by taking that little bit of time to just focus on me and sometimes I feel like thats the only time I can get a few minutes with my own thoughts.

I’ve been steadily getting better at doing my own makeup by trying different things or a new technique every time I take up the challenge to apply it. For this look I put a little bit of eyeshadow along with a cate eye wing (which is something I’ve never tried doing cause eyeshadow kind of intimates me). From what I’ve noticed, a light hand is key as your applying it because it can easily start looking like a mess.

Here is a step by step of what I did & please, feel free to chuckle at the subtle humor of the commentary lol:

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Step one: covering up my reptilian skin lol

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Step two: using this awfully bad compact makeup as a under eye concealer because I needed to use it one last time so I won’t feel so guilty for throwing it out and wasting money on it.

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Step three: blended well… from this distance you can’t notice the bumpy skin. i think i did a job well done. Now its time to set it with some powder to minimize my oily skin build up. hooray

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Step four: some eyeshadow because i hardly wear it and these are subtle enough for others to not notice how mediocre i actually am with makeup.

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Step five: if i were in a stranded island, i would put a note inside a bottle asking for whoever reads the note to send me mascara and eyeliner… and some sunscreen cause no one wants to age prematurely6-liplinerStep six: a lip liner to overline my lips and as a lipstick cause my lips can make a desert look moist and plump

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Voila mistro… not bad.

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and another selfie to reenforce how naturally untalented I’m with makeup and girl,  let me just say that if you know how to work your angles, no one will even notice lmfao!

Thanks so much for reading along and maybe even getting a little inspired by this faux easy makeup tutorial cause a girl tried her best! show some love on the comments and I hope you all have a blessed day.

Authenticity & it’s four Attributes

During the first day of my internship training, there was a girl in my group who made it her mission to point out to me how “fake” she thought I was. She didn’t say it to me privately, instead, she timed it so everyone else in the group would hear her opinion of me by saying it out loud during one of our quick 10 minute breaks. The girl was not a stranger to me because we had started the same internship program from the very beginning. Her sudden hostility towards me was strange, super random and I was left confused for the remainder of that training day. I had no idea what I could have done to cause her to say that and I couldn’t recall ever being out of line or disrespectful towards her. In order to hide my embarrassment and try to be polite, I let out a nervous laugh because I was trying to brushed it off as if she were telling me an insider joke.

Thinking back to that moment, I was so naive to social cues and didn’t realize when someone was being out of line towards me. I let her continually name call me, although it really upset me yet I didn’t comment back or bother to ask her why she was doing it. Honestly, I thought that I was being the “bigger person” and tried to not let it show that it was affecting me! Needless to say, I kept a fair distance from her and would try to avoid situations where I had to have a conversation other then work. Part of me couldn’t tell the difference between a joke or if it was a direct personal attack and not knowing the difference made me feel insecure, especially when I was around her.

So before I get to my point, I want to share another more recent story of a male coworker who consistently had a snarky comeback whenever I would attempt a causal work conversation. His attitude and mannerisms towards me would feel boorish, meanwhile other coworkers would have nothing but praise for his helpfulness and goodness. I took his animosity personally because it felt like it was gradually getting more indifferent and hostile. Being around him was like walking on eggshells and I would purposely stay clear of his path (although it was really difficult because we all had to work in a tiny office). I wouldn’t ask him for anything or bother with advice and I dreaded being left alone with him whenever the other coworkers left the office during lunch breaks or for any other reason.

One work day I had decided that I had had enough of his toxic attitude and dished it right back to him, exactly how he would towards me. When I looked at his face, his eyes were a little wide and he had a bit of a smirk. He then said, “finally, she speaks for herself.” In that moment, I didn’t know what exactly he meant but after that one comeback, he started being friendlier. Shooting for conversations rather then building negative tension. It seemed like suddenly, this male co worker wanted to have a decent working relationship… go fucken figure.

What I failed to realize was that, ultimately, it didn’t matter what these people said or even how they behaved towards me. What was important was how I responded and handled those different personalities and how much I would let them affect me or influence me personally. If I would have been self-aware, I would have been able to pick up on those subtle shady cues a lot quicker rather then letting my personal feelings decipher what every interaction meant. Here are a list of a few traits I wish I would have learned earlier in life, a set of traits that wouldn’t have allowed for these scenarios to play out the way that they did.

1. self awareness

to have self-awareness is an advantage over those who do not have it or don’t even know what it means in the long term (ei. me). I believe that self awareness is a skill because it means that you understand and trust yourself without a doubt and can’t be easily swayed or influenced. Its a skill build on balancing confidence and vulnerability together although each trait can cancel each other out. It may sound easy, but this is a mindset that is difficult to master because your exposing yourself to the world around you and therefore potentially having others judge you harshly.

2. boldness

boldness is having the ability to be forward and intentional with whomever it may be about whatever you personally believe in. Sharing with them your specific interest without fearing that you won’t be accepted somehow because others might not agree with you. I feel like deep down we all want to get some kind of approval from those around us and maybe even more from people who may not even know us directly.

3. honesty

honesty, the key ingredient for authenticity because it flourishes when you stop lying about who you are and about who your pretending to become. There is nothing wrong about having aspirations of a future better you. But by humbling yourself to see where you are at that moment, where you are mentally and physically, starts the process of self reflection. A quick google search defines self reflection as meditation or serious thought about ones character, actions and motives. From my personal experiences, self reflection is one of the greatest gifts you can give your future self by taking a little bit of time to think about you. I know it sounds selfish but if your rebuilding, the first thing every good home needs is a solid foundation.

4. trust

by learning to trust your actions, your choices become more deliberate and thats helpful because there is no way for sure to know what the opportunity costs are of every option available since time and resources are always limited. Trust can go hand in hand with intuition or that “gut feeling” that we all experience from time to time. Figuring out a way to let go of the expectations from others around us jumpstarts the ways in which we learn to depend on ourself and ultimately trust oneself.

I feel like in our society, being talented isn’t enough anymore but whats important and valuable is being authentic because it allows others to connect with you on a personal level other than the work you produce. By connecting with you, it means they might like you and want to continue supporting you by watching your instagram stories or sharing your tweets. It all kind of comes full circle and with all the different options of connecting with people, your personality will be the dividing force between your work and everybody else.

Looking back, I would have responded differently…

Brooks Brothers Puffer Coat OOTD x FBF

I wish I could say that everyday in New York city feels gloriously warm, truly, but that is simply not the reality and I’d be completely lying to you. This is me, almost everyday, wrapped up in a heavy duty puffer coat that bundles me up like a sleeping bag. This one in particular is from Brooks Brothers, its a knee length dark navy blue puffer coat with a cute black feather trim to keep my face warm lol.

Lets raise a glass to effortless, simple and functional outfits cause life is stressful enough!

Cheers to not being famous enough to draw out paparazzi who want to snap pictures of your every step, unapologetically and ruthlessly, whether you look cute or not!

Thank goodness sake for this amazing lightweight Mountain Buggy stroller and for museums that house ruins and classic paintings from ancient times!

Here is a little recap of my outfit and a vlog of the days events!

This post is a bit of a throwback because it was on January 16th of 2018! This day was extra special because it was my daughters official first birthday. We decided to celebrate it by taking her to the museum and have a little mini photoshoot but she was not having it because she was asleep the whole time! Thank God #amen lol regardless my husband and I really enjoyed it because there was a lot of things, a lot of history to experience once we were inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. Its so big and beautiful, every corner is instagram worthy and it really takes your breath away once you step inside. I really don’t think there is another museum like it (or maybe one that I’ve yet to visit). So this is a throwback Thursday kind of post, I had completely forgotten about this day, which was buried under all the other pictures of random life shenanigans on my iPhone.

I hope you enjoy and maybe even brings a little smile to your face, like if you like and follow for more content. Let me know what you think of the video or the outfit below in the comments, until next time!

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Rent The Runway x Wedding Dress Shopping Experience

Now I know what your thinking, rent the runway? what is that? how is that possible and where can i get the hook up ? lol for those that don’t know what the website is about, think of it like the netflix of fashion, you get to rent out clothing for a fraction of the cost that it would have cost you to purchase it at full retail price. They have a bunch of different categories to choose from, like: street style, wedding, black tie, etc. From the moment I heard of them, i was very intrigued yet very skeptical since it kind of makes you wonder if they just keep reusing the same size of the same style over and over, customer by customer… but thats a story for another day.

I had forgot about them completely, until one day I had noticed a few cute and eye catching ads convienetly placed over the lights in a subway cart as I was riding back to my apartment. The ad spanned the whole train cart, end to end and each one had beautiful fashion illustrations (which i’m a complete sucker for since fashion school) and I promised myself that the next special occasion I had in my calendar, rent the runway would be my number one source for some beautiful designer fashion looks…

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Hopes were running high as I ventured into the website in search for an inexpensive and glamorous, yet informal wedding dress. I loved the appearance of the website, albeit the promotions and pricing models were a bit confusing, from a new customers perspective. The website offered a section for “Occasions” and a subsection for ‘Wedding’ looks and styles already picked out helped a lot since the website hosts a lot of different looks. Generally, I enjoyed what I saw but all of my personal selections just fell a little short and I kept thinking that if this dress had a little more or maybe if it looked like this etc, I would be happy with it. It’s not that they didn’t have a good selection, it’s just that I wanted instagram glam, do you know what i mean?

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Instagram glam consists of sparkles, shimmer and with a bit of sophistication with a touch of sexiness. I wanted something show stopping and memorable, although my budget wasn’t going to allow for much of either. I kept on justifying my irrational ness by telling myself that it’s for my special occasion, that I deserve something memorable cause it is my wedding! Yep, a bridezilla was being hatched and I’m not even having a grand elaborate ceremony.

Anyways, I was quiet surprised that they still carried Marchesa Note clothing and how sad that out of all the options, I was so quickly drawn to them because they were the most glamorous and feminine ones. Marchesa is the fashion brand owned by Harvey Weinsteins now ex-wife and well, need I explain the horrid details of this major Hollywood executive that fell from grace after multiple sexual misconduct accusations from hundreds of female movie stars.

Another disappointing factor was that not all of the clothing that you see “available” is truly available to be shipped to your address zone area code. At the very last minute, I realized that I might need to buy a nice outerwear coat to compliment my beautiful dress since its still freezing in NYC. I found myself with a lot less to choose from as soon as I typed my address area code simply because they didn’t offer certain styles to be shipped to these area codes… which is odd and instantly took out the fun of shopping for my wedding day. Now I couldn’t get the sophisticated white coat that I so had my eyes on.. well, what was a girl to do? (the picture below shows the one I wanted)

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One really helpful factor was seeing the reviews of the dresses because some of the customers who ordered that dress posted up pictures of themselves in the dress. It was extremely helpful to see how the dress looked like on different body types and how the details of the design translated in real life.

All in all, I can justify shopping through rent the runway and could see myself trying out their new feature of Unlimited renting for a monthly fee to keep my closet option refreshed on a monthly basis. The main thing I was expecting, though, was more recognizable higher end designer brands like the Versaces, the Balencia or even streetwear favorites like Fear of God by Jerry Lorenzo. If that were the case, I’ll truly have a closet in the clouds like the ad campaigns slogan.

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