Packing for 4 Days in a Personal Item!

Hi there! I hope you’re having a great week so far. I’m planning a visit to NC to visit my sister & I’m so excited! (I think when this post is published, I’ll already be there!) I can’t wait to see her new house, cuddle with my pup nephew, & have some sister time!

I’m flying on Frontier, which means I didn’t want to pay extra for a carry-on & will be packing in a personal item ONLY. This is the longest trip I’ve done this for (usually I only visit NC for 1-2 days!) so this might be challenging but I’m up for it! I’m leaving Friday & getting back Tuesday.

An easy, breezy dress like this one is perfect for trips like this!

I’m someone who really enjoys planning a trip! I love gathering things I need & the excitement of packing my bag. While I’m no professional, I like to think I’ve found some good tips that help make things easier in my travels. Keep reading for my packing process!

1. Make a list of outfits! I plan out the outfits I want to wear each day that I’ll be at my destination, along with which shoes & accessories I want to pair with each one. Here’s what my list looks like so far for this trip!

Friday-pink t-shirt dress, white sneakers, denim jacket

Saturday-maxi skirt, white wrap top, white sneakers

Sunday-red & pink dress, sandals

Monday-chambray wrap dress, white sneakers

Tuesday-maxi skirt, graphic t-shirt

2. I go through my list & try on the outfits, making sure that everything fits & goes together.

3. Next, I write out the makeup, toiletries, & any other miscellaneous things I need to remember. I keep my makeup & hair products pretty simple to save space in my bag. If I forget anything or need anything, I can either borrow something from my sis or pop into Target! Here’s the makeup I’m bringing.

Makeup:

Mini glow screen

Rare foundation

Rare concealer

Rare blush

Ilia eyeshadow

Eyeliner (liquid & gel)

Mascara

2 lipstick options

These are my must-have every day products!

I use packing cubes to keep everything organized & to squeeze as much as I can into the small space.

& that’s pretty much it! It’s my last day of my trip right now & I’ve used almost everything that I packed. I’m having the best time here & I’ll be sad to go home BUT I can’t wait to see my little family when I get back. I’ve missed them!

Have a great week,

Danielle

Summer Insecurities

Bottom line: it’s a whole lot harder to feel good about your body if you don’t feel good on the inside.

Hi there!

“Love yourself!” “Love your flaws!” “Your body is beautiful!” How often are we told these things? I’ve said them in previous posts, I’m sure.

What we don’t hear as frequently though, is what to do if you DON’T feel this way. I know that so many of us are experiencing mixed feelings about our bodies; I know that because so many of you have shared that with me & I feel the SAME!

Sure, some days I’m dancing around in my bathing suit, feeling grateful for all that my body does for me. Some days I’m wearing a pretty dress & feeling beautiful. But there are plenty of other days. There are days when I catch a glimpse of my reflection & think, I look 8 months pregnant. There are days when I go to the beach with a friend & revert back to the comparison game. There are days where I want to hide my body. If you’re reading this, maybe you have had similar days.

Bottom line: it’s harder to feel good about yourself on the outside if you don’t feel good on the inside. This is a recent revelation for me; I’ve noticed on days when my anxiety is high, I have trouble accepting my body. These things go hand in hand. It’s not as easy as simply throwing on the bikini, there is self-reflection & inner WORK to do first. How do I do this? I go to therapy, I write down my anxious or negative thoughts, I identify WHY I’m feeling different emotions. I surround myself with people who remind me of the best things about myself! Over time, I find accepting my body to be easier. The bad days don’t spiral into bad weeks or months, & I feel good about that.

We’re seeing posts about how every body is a bikini body; how you should feel good about your body no matter what. I love this messaging, but I know it’s not always completely realistic. My hope for you this summer is to have days where you’re having too much fun with people you love to even think about your insecurities!

Love,

Danielle

Pack with me for Savannah!

John & I are heading to Savannah for the long weekend. I’m so excited to eat, drink, & spend quality time together (in no particular order, lol!) It’s our first trip in awhile (we’re both fully vaccinated + will be safe, masks & hand sanitizer are at the ready!) & I’m finding a lot of joy in planning this little getaway. Even though the forecast says rain, I have some fun restaurants & activities on the itinerary. I can’t wait!

Here’s a throwback to 2017, the last time John & I went to Savannah! It was pretty early on in our relationship & so much fun. We look like babies here!

Usually when I prepare for a trip, I immediately start buying new clothes. There’s something about a new outfit that can really boost my confidence! However, in an effort to decrease frivolous spending, I chose to shop my closet this time. I pulled out some fun dresses, a few festive options for the 4th, & got to packing! Here’s what I’ll be bringing on our weekend trip.

Outfits: What a surprise, I’m bringing mostly dresses. They’re easy to just throw on, keep me cool, & make me feel my most confident! What’s not to love? I’m linking a few of my favorite options here, here, & here. I’m planning on bringing 3-4 options, since it’s just a short trip!

Makeup: I’m so used to packing only the bare minimum makeup for when I bring a carry on to visit my sister, I’m excited to bring a little more makeup with me on this trip! I’ve been LOVING this foundation from Rare, it’s definitely a must-have for me. I’m linking a few more of my favorites here & here as well; let me know if you’d like to read an updated makeup routine post!

Hair: In years past, I would get my hair blown out before a trip. Now however, I’m embracing the curly life & wearing my hair naturally! I purchased a few travel sizes of some of my fave products, like this one & this one!

Shoes: After consulting my sis & my best friend, I think I’m going to stick to bringing my two essentials: a pair of white sneakers & comfy sandals.

Other Stuff: I ordered these bug spray wipes to use at nighttime. Can’t forget my sunscreen for daytime; you can’t go wrong with Supergoop!

Stay tuned for plenty of photos (sorry, John!) of us in Savannah.

Have a great weekend!

Danielle

Happy One Year Anniversary to My Blog!

Thanks for being here! Your support means the world to me. I’m inspired by you & thankful for you every day!

43 blog posts. 2,456 views. Several brand collaborations, & countless inspiring conversations.

I’m so lucky! I wanted to start this blog for years before I finally did it. The idea that I could share my love for fashion & beauty while empowering other women to love themselves seemed too good to be true. Here we are, one year after I posted my first blog post.

If something feels scary but you feel called to do it, you should do it! Don’t let your own doubts hold yourself back. I’ll never regret creating this blog, but I may have regretted it if I never took that first step & just STARTED.

This blog has given me so much. It’s given me inspiration, creativity, & a built-in way for me to process my emotions & experiences, good & bad.

When you’re in my little corner of the internet, I hope you feel encouraged to love yourself as you are. I hope you feel empowered to do anything you want to do. I hope you feel inspired to always be kind & know that to be vulnerable is to be brave. I’m so thankful to you for being here!

Love,

Danielle

It’s Not Always Rainbows & Butterflies

I wish I could tell you that the journey to body confidence is all rainbows & butterflies. I’m the first person to say that it’s hard! Some days, your favorite jeans aren’t fitting how they used to. Or you get out of the shower & don’t like the way your stomach looks; maybe your thighs are rubbing together more. It doesn’t seem to matter your body type or age, we ALL have days when our bodies feel as though they are betraying us. Let’s shout it from the rooftops: IT SUCKS!

I’ve been having some really negative thoughts about my body lately. As much as I’ve made progress in the way I view my body, sometimes my my brain automatically goes to “You only have a few months left to lose weight for your friend’s wedding”, or “You gained weight & now you have to size up, great”, or “You can’t post that, look at your double chin!” (Some more recent examples, unfortunately).

Does having to size up in my clothes make me less valuable of a person? Will being my current weight for my friend’s wedding in January make the day any less special? The answer is no! How my body looks or how much I weigh should literally be the LAST thing on my mind on a day as special as my best friend’s wedding.

Maybe part of the beauty of striving toward body confidence is meeting yourself where you’re at; whatever stage of life or imperfection you’ve noticed. This truly is a lifelong journey; I wish, for your sake & mine, that there was a magic answer. That I could wave a wand & love everything about my body every single day. Unfortunately, not going to happen. Sometimes I can focus on the things my body can do, I can make myself feel better by throwing on a pretty dress or going for a walk. Other days, I strongly consider restrictive eating & exercising as a punishment for the weight I’ve gained.

I never, ever want to give the impression that it is an easy task to love & accept our bodies. At least, for me it isn’t, & I know that’s the case for so many of my friends & family. The beautiful women in my life, who are so perfect in my eyes, have days where they feel blah too, only able to focus on the things they dislike about themselves.

I’ve said it a million times before, but sometimes we just need to be reminded. You are worth so much more than the size you wear or what you weigh. Make beautiful, wonderful memories with people you love. That’s all that matters at the end of the day! I’ve been hateful & mean toward my body the last few weeks; the same one that let me dance with my sister via Zoom for hours after we got the election results. The same body that carries me through every stage of life, both good & bad. Today, I ate a healthy, filling breakfast. Then, I took my puppy for long, peaceful walk. I’m taking steps toward loving my body more.

Cheers to being more loving & kind to our bodies,

Danielle

Stepping Outside of my Comfort Zone

Wear the clothes you want to wear!

I kid you not, one of my favorite outfits in 4th grade was a white skirt with black & white polka dot leggings underneath. In 5th grade, I wore a hot pink blazer with a pink & orange floral top under it. Bright colors, sequins, bold patterns, I would wear it all. I never had an issue wearing exactly what I wanted to wear, no matter how daring or out there it was.

Then, society began to tell me to wear what was “flattering”. I was told to wear dark colors, they were far more slimming. I was told to not wear stripes, they would make me look wide. Don’t wear anything form-fitting, don’t wear anything sparkly. There were so many rules & suddenly, I was only focused on making myself look smaller. On wearing what would “flatter” my body.

I’m starting to see trying new trends that I love as a form of self-care. It’s so easy to get into a rut & only wear what we are used to, what makes us feel the most comfortable, what makes us look the smallest. It’s fun & feels like a way to celebrate my body, to try out a new trend like this utility style jumpsuit. I’ve seen jumpsuits like this on women with smaller bodies, but have been a little afraid to try it out for myself.

I found this jumpsuit on Thred Up, but it’s originally from Old Navy. I’ve seen some similar styles at Target & Madewell too, if you’re looking for a jumpsuit like this. It’s comfortable, HAS POCKETS, & feels just outside of my comfort zone; enough that it feels fresh & fun to style. It’s no polka dotted legging, but it’s a tiny step toward that bold, confident self from 4th grade; before society taught me that taking up less space meant that I was worth more.

Comfy + has pockets= always a winner in my book!

Wear what you love, regardless of whether society deems it “flattering”. Regardless of if a magazine told you you’re an “apple” or a “pear”. Maybe I’ll do a blog post soon about categorizing women’s bodies into types of fruit, because I think it’s kinda bullshit. Wear what you love, because your body deserves to be celebrated.

You only get one life, don’t spend it in clothes that don’t feel like YOU.

Danielle

Current Obsession: Midi Dresses!

I love midi dresses for so many reasons! They’re super versatile & can be dressed up or down with whatever shoes you want. I’ve been wearing mine with sneakers + a cardigan for work, but can’t wait to style them with booties & jackets if the weather ever cools down!

This first dress is from Old Navy! I love the colors; I’ll probably wear it for Thanksgiving! The second dress is SO comfy & from Aerie. The last dress is a favorite of mine from Target!

I’ve been finding cute, affordable midi dresses & had some requests to share them with you! Wearing these dresses, I feel confident & comfortable; I want the same for you! I made sure to link these three from the video.

I hope you’re having a great weekend!

Danielle

Negative Comments & How I’m Dealing with Them

If someone chooses to make a negative comment regarding your appearance, that is a direct reflection of THEM. It has nothing to do with you!

I got my first mean comment on an Instagram post the other day. It was a man who runs a business, who commented on my weight.

It stung, for a few minutes. But then I realized, if a person wants to comment something rude on a post that is meant to uplift & encourage, that says so much about THEM. Not me, but them. So I decided to not give that man another ounce of thought or energy.

I started this blog to share my experiences, hopefully help others, & provide some sort of light to people. I’m proud of the community I’ve built; we build each other up & inspire, not tear each other down. I’m so thankful for that. I’m sure as my Instagram community grows, I might get some more mean comments; I choose to focus on the people who are supportive instead. I debated even writing about this, but writing has quickly become a coping mechanism for me. I also want to be as transparent as possible in my journey. I’ve made progress in my body confidence, but negative comments never feel great. I know that so many struggle with comments regarding your appearance; whether that comes from a family member at Thanksgiving or a stranger online. You’re not alone!

If someone makes a mean or rude comment, that’s a reflection of them & has nothing at all to do with you. Remember that!

Danielle

Things I’m Thankful For

This week was hard. On top of going back to school & navigating the craziness that is COVID times, it was also the anniversary of my friend Bekah’s death. I felt my mental health suffering throughout the week; I try to be mindful of when I’m struggling but a sure sign that I am is when my apartment & my car get extra messy. When my anxiety is high or I’m feeling down, chores & cleaning are the last thing I feel like doing. I’m taking this weekend to recharge & take care of myself (also cleaning because it’s pretty bad!)

I had planned on writing about my favorite outfits or an easy makeup look, but found myself feeling unmotivated to film that right now. Those posts are usually fun for me, but I want to again be mindful of my mental health & be transparent about where I’m at right now. I think that vulnerability is so so important, especially right now. I know that there are many others who are struggling; life can feel difficult & heavy some days (or months or years? I’m ready for 2020 to be over with!) Please take care of yourself.

Here are some things that I am so thankful for; things that I clung onto for dear life this week as I navigated an especially difficult week!

I’m so thankful for this sweet puppy who came into our lives at the MOST perfect time!
  • My relationship! I’m not sure how I got so lucky to fall in love with a guy as kind-hearted, loving, & supportive as John, but I’m so happy I did! He always, always knows how to lift me up.
  • Our little family. No matter how hard my day was, or how down I’m feeling, I get to come home to the cutest little family. It’s impossible to feel sad when Theo is suffocating you with his kisses, & Phoebe is snuggled up purring next to you. How did I get so lucky??
  • My parents! I talk to my parents every single day. We always recap our day & compare funny puppy stories; always a highlight of my day.
  • My sister. I’ve said it before but my sister is my absolute best friend! This is the longest we’ve ever been apart (due to COVID we haven’t been together since Christmas) but we talk every day & doing our podcast together brings me a lot of joy. This time apart has made me appreciate our bond even more!
  • My friends! I have the strongest, best friendships with girls who love & support me through anything. Especially during COVID we check on each other & text, especially when we are struggling.
  • Comfy dresses like this one! It even has pockets. So cute, I’m ordering other colors ASAP!

There are plenty of other things I feel thankful for right now, but these things in particular just make me smile so much. No matter how difficult things feel or how bad my day was, these are things that aren’t going away! I hope you find strength in focusing on your gratitude for the little things.

Sending love (& Theo is sending puppy kisses!),

Danielle

Black-Owned Businesses To Shop, Support, & Be Inspired By

I know many content creators, myself included, have taken this past week off to educate themselves & amplify Black voices. That work does not stop simply because the week is over; we must continue to reflect on our personal biases, educate ourselves as much as possible, & amplify Black voices in every way that we can. We cannot just take a week off & then go back to our usual programming.

I don’t want to center myself at all, so I’ll just leave it at the fact that I’m uncomfortable that it’s taken me so long to be more intentional about the brands I support, the creators I follow on social media, & the businesses I’m promoting on this blog. I’m sitting in that discomfort, as we all should; I will do better moving forward, as I continue to learn & advocate more.

Here are some businesses owned by women in the Black community that I’ve purchased products from this past week! I ordered a few things that I’m really excited for & I can’t wait to support these brands in the long run.

Juvia’s Place: I’ve heard really great things about this makeup brand (especially their eyeshadow palettes!) so I’m looking forward to playing with this palette and gel eyeliner set. Update: this palette is STUNNING & the eyeliner stays all day long (through the FL summer heat; I’m so impressed!)

The Tiny Tassel: I’ve been loving a bold earring, & these in the blush ombré will be so fun with summer outfits.

The Juno Studio (on Etsy!): Again, love a good bold earring. I can’t wait to style the mustard yellow ones!

The Baked Clay Studio: I honestly didn’t realize how many new earrings I had ordered until making this post! These are so colorful & fun; I love how unique they are. (The shop will be restocked on 6/11!) Update: I ordered another pair from Kristin because these are just that good!

I’m obsessed with these! The colors are beautiful & make me so happy!

Mary Louise Cosmetics: I bought the Miracle Serum to try, & if the reviews & before/after photos on Instagram are any indication I think I’ll love it! Update: This product is AMAZING. I will repurchase for the rest of my life, I’m not kidding!

Loving Culture: Something I’ve always struggled with is a dry, flaky scalp; I’m hoping this hair oil might do the trick! Update: This oil is super soothing on my scalp and has taken the flakes away! DS

I can’t wait to update you on these products once I receive them & try them out! Behind these brands are inspiring, beautiful Black women who deserve all of the support & success. I hope you’ll check out their businesses! Moving forward on this blog, I will continue to share & explore my love of fashion, beauty & self care but I will be intentional in highlighting Black-owned businesses.

Sending you light!

Danielle