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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
Well, it’s happened. Most of my jeans are feeling snug. I can still get them buttoned, but I’m definitely not comfortable wearing them all day long, especially sitting down. If this had happened to me even a year ago, it would have triggered a downward spiral of hateful thoughts & attempting the latest fad diet. It would have caused me to spend time in front of the mirror, pinching my stomach & thighs, wishing them away. It would have made me go to the gym, but for all the wrong reasons.
I choose to be gentle with myself. I choose patience & understanding. I choose acceptance & dare I say, love. I choose to focus on my accomplishments, the things I’m thankful for, & the things my body allows me to do. I want to keep taking care of myself, body & soul.
Am I drinking enough water? Am I moving my body & eating food that fuels it? Am I doing things that makes me smile? If I can answer yes to those questions on most days, that’s enough for me right now. There are days in this quarantine that maybe the answer is no, but all I can do is accept it and try again tomorrow.
If you’re feeling down about your body today, what’s a step you can take to lift yourself up? Today for me, it was as simple as trying on a few of my favorite outfits. These outfits make me feel confident & help me to embrace my body!
It’s not easy, but we can learn to accept & love our bodies at any size, shape, or stage of our lives. If you’re struggling, I’m sending you a big hug!
Today is my 25th birthday! My day looks so different than what I thought it would, but I’m making the most of it & it’s been a great day so far. I have SO much to be thankful for & have been feeling a little emotional today; my family & friends have gone completely above & beyond to make me feel so special & loved! My birthday is always a time of reflection for me. I like to think back on the previous year: my growth, my experiences, the people who have impacted me. Then I like to plan ahead for this new year & what I want to accomplish. Here are 25 lessons that I’ve learned during my 25 years of life so far!
1. You can’t control others’ actions, but you do have control over your own reaction.
2. True friends will make you feel inspired & uplifted after spending time with them, not emotionally drained.
3. Self growth can feel so uncomfortable, even painful at times, but is necessary!
4. No one can read your mind-either express how you are feeling or be okay with things not changing.
5. It’s 100% fine to set boundaries to protect your mental health!
6. Sometimes the cheapest option isn’t the best deal (this goes for everything but especially hair salons!!)
7. It’s okay to be alone with your thoughts.
8. Comparison really is the thief of joy.
9. Empathy is a superpower!
10. Forgive yourself for past mistakes & do better now.
11. It’s better to have a handful of close, true friends than it is to have a hundred acquaintances.
12. Difficult, sad times make you appreciate the joyful times even more.
13. Being sensitive does not mean you’re weak!
14. If you have a gut feeling about something, trust it.
15. There’s nothing better than laughing so hard you cry.
16. Hang up your clothes after you take them down damn it! (Still working on this one, tbh.)
17. Take time for yourself & do things that feed your soul.
18. People prioritize things that are important to them.
19. Always, always TRY to choose grace. In every situation.
20. Take the extra time to plan beforehand so you can be more organized & less anxious.
21. A flowy dress does wonders for your confidence!
22. You only get one body, so learn to love & appreciate it during every stage of life!
23. Life is too short to hold grudges. Again, choose grace.
24. Be intentional with your time; life is short!
25. Tell people you love that you love them, as often as you can!
I hope that 25 is a year of making happy memories with people I love, some emotional growing pains as I continue to self reflect & evolve, & so, so much love. If today is any indication, I’m off to a good start! Thank you to my family & friends for making me feel such an abundance of love today & every day. I couldn’t be happier to spend my day with my little family of John, Luke, & Phoebe. Here’s to 25!
I’m working from home now, which I’m so thankful to be able to do! It’s been a little challenging to get into the swing of things, especially when I’m not feeling motivated to get dressed (I need to look semi- presentable, since I’m teaching my students live & have staff meetings on Zoom). I’ve really noticed a big difference in my productivity when I do get dressed, so I’ve been focusing on wearing comfortable outfits that make me feel at least a little put together.
I know that a lot of us currently might not be shopping, so I wanted to be mindful of that & pick items you might have in your closet already! You most likely have sweatpants, a jumpsuit, a cozy cardigan, & a T-shirt; you can definitely use those items to come up with similar, comfy looks! Also, it’s totally fine if you’re not in the headspace to get ready for the day yet; pajamas work too! I’ve organized a few outfits from most casual to something that will look polished if you have an important Zoom meeting.
I hope this post inspires you to put together some cute & comfy outfits of your own! Whatever this new normal looks like for you, I hope you’re finding time for things that feed your soul & make you smile. Sometimes, that’s as simple as throwing on a favorite outfit.