Learn a bit about me!
Hello, and thanks so much for once again meeting me here at my blog. I noticed that I have befriended some more of you and if you just started along this journey with me, you may not know very much about me. Therefore, I wanted to do something different and create a post dedicated to getting to know me. I like create stories since I am a visual learner so bare with me.
Imagine walking into a bar sitting and ordering your favorite drink. In the background you can hear friends talking, people clacking on their laptops, a rattle of alternative music. The bar tender brings you your drink and you cradle it inside your hands. You spark up a conversation with the person next to you. That person is me! I have a pale ale that I am drinking, probably a pretzel with cheese and we realize we have a lot more in common than meets the eye. I planned this shoot to go with this post because I wanted this to be natural, easy, as simple as meeting a friend in a bar and learning about them the 'old' fashioned way. Thank you all who asked me questions! I loved reading all of them. The ones I picked seemed to come up a lot so here are the questions you asked and my answers.
1. Where do you get your fashion inspo from? Every color looks great on you! Love your style!
This was such a great question! I get asked this often and it's hard to pick one certain thing. The designer that I truly love and try to emulate color wise is Kate Spade. She is one of the reasons I started this blog because of the daily challenge she did a couple of years ago on social media. I am big on telling stories through my posts and creating a scene that others can relate to. I live by the motto 'live colorfully' and I try to incorporate that into my fashion as well.
2. What is one thing you think beginner bloggers should avoid?
Such a great question and something I still am navigating and learning. I think the biggest thing is never downplay your worth. No matter how many followers you have you still put so much work, sweat, and tears into your posts online. That is something to be proud of! If people reach out to collab with you make sure you have a media kit because a lot of companies will want to see your stats and your information about your blog. This is all the stuff I had to learn as I grew my brand. Remember, this is your name, your brand, and for some, your livelihood, make sure to represent yourself well.
3. How much should I publish a blog post?
So this is strictly something that I do. What I want everyone to realize is my structure may be completely different than yours. I personally try to publish at least a blog post once a week. If I wasn't working a full-time job I would love to publish 2 times a week and link it back to my Instagram. Now, this is my personal opinion you have to look at your own demographics and see what is best for you.
4. Can I make money from blogging and influencing?
Yes, you definitely can! You look at people like Olivia Rink and Rachel Martino, to Color me Courtney and they are all making a living from what they love to do. These are some of the bloggers I inspire to be. Now, I want to stress that although this is a method of making money it shouldn't be your sole focus. If you only focus on making money I personally feel like you lose your creativity and it becomes something other than your creative outlet. Do what you love and money will come soon after.
5. Did we go to High-school together?
So this is a funny one because as I think back on this time in my life I have to laugh. I went to MCHS, Marian Catholic high school, and I had to wear these awful dreadful uniforms all the time. This is actually why I was so prone on learning about fashion in college because I couldn't experiment with it in high-school. I feel like I was a late bloomer to the fashion world. I should do a blog post strictly on my time in high school because that's a whole different melodrama in itself.
6. You look like so much fun I cannot wait to hopefully come to Chicago and meet you!
Ahhh so sweet, thank you! I hope that if any of you see me out and about you will come up to say hi. I think one of the most humbling experiences is when my husband and I met someone that follows my blog and came up to say hello. I am a normal person who happens to blog. I love meeting new people and I have been so lucky to get to know all of you.
So that is all for now. I want to thank everyone who sent in questions even if they were not answered. I think I should do one of these once a year or month... not entirely sure yet. I appreciate you all for taking the time to read this post. You are the bee's knees! Keep shining love bugs! Until next time.
Kulani Kinis Haul
You guys it is finally June, meaning I hope that we will be having some good swim weather soon. One of my favorite things about living downtown is that there are so many awesome beaches that you can choose to go to. Sometimes, I love to sit, with a good book, and just lounge and read on the sand.
With the summer weather approaching, I decided that I wanted to do a spotlight on some of my favorite bikinis. Therefore, I am spotlighting my favorite swimsuits from Kulani Kinis! Now, we all know I am not always thrilled to wear bikinis because they can feel quite uncomfortable or the fabric can be a bit uncomfortable. Not only is the fit perfect for all shapes and sizes, but the fabric is super smooth and soft. I literally wore my bikini all day because I forgot that I had it own.
These are perfect for that nice summer weather. I love the different prints and colors that Kulani Kinis have. I am all about the accessories to match your swimmy and I am in love with my tropical print bikini and matching headband.
Also some of their swimsuits can be reversible. The one that Julie is wearing below can be flipped and have dual wear! That is my favorite thing because you get two awesome prints for the price of one!
I also love how bright their colors are like the pinkish coral bikini that I am wearing in the pictures below. I paired it with a cute wrap scarf and a nice little summery kimono which can be perfect for the beachy breeze.
If you are not much of a two-piece person, like I normally am, they also have adorable one pieces. Julie is wearing their cute baby blue one piece that covers and shows just the right amount of skin.
Not only is the owner super amazing, kind, and sweet but she has invested in the right type of swimsuit making it sculpting for all different types of women. As the summer months approach and you're looking for the perfect swimmy I suggest you check out their amazing swimsuits! Thank you Ness for allowing me the opportunity to showcase your amazing brand it was totally a pleasure. Below I am linking all the swimmys that I received and they're linked to the website for you to shop. Thanks again for reading along babes! Until next time.
The light house
"I have a deeply hidden and inarticulate desire for something beyond the daily life."
- Virginia Woolf
Yesterday I had that insatiable feeling. The one you get, small and quaint, that builds up and seems to grow from the pit of your stomach, gnawing at your mind. That feeling of inability or not being good enough. It's the silent killers that can be the most deafening.
It started out as a normal day. I had a bit of anxiety from the long weekend knowing that I would come back to a pile of work I had to finish. The thought of that seemed to put me in a funk on Monday night. It got me thinking how one small infinitesimal thoughts can catapult our mind into the unknown. The unknown of how am I going to complete this, or will I accomplish the goals I have set for myself. It becomes this negative domino effect that slowly plants this seed of self-doubt.
It only got worse when I had an incident happen at work that made me second guess myself. How many of you have had that happen? You can be on top of the world one moment then one occurrence can knock you down a notch.
It's moments like these when you're feeling low and down, that inspired me to write this blog post. If you don't know this about me you will learn that I try to stay on the bright side of life. I try to uplift and build people up. If my post can help just one person feel like they're not alone, or they can relate to it, then I feel as if I have done my duty as an influencer and blogger.
A lot of times people see these "perfect" lives that other's portray. In reality, no one is perfect. Everyone has their own hidden demons and struggles. We all go through those cloudy days. Or the days where we seem like we're trying to tread water and the waves keep pushing us down.
Yet, through those struggles, that treading, which may seem indefinite, we find shelter in a lighthouse, in the small things that give us comfort. Mine happens to be blogging. When I blog I feel like I have this sense of purpose, of helping and speaking how God created me to. It reminded me of the phenomenal post that one of my favorite bloggers, Olivia Rink, wrote about a bit ago. If you haven't read it I suggest you do!
It got me thinking about moments like these where you feel that discomfort of growing and maturing in life. Whether it be in a relationship, at work, or self-growth. I tend to shy away from growth, or things that make me 'uncomfortable.' Yet, I have to constantly remind myself that discomfort, that treading faze, is what can lead you to that oasis. It is in that discomfort that you start to learn about yourself and what you truly want.
Years ago I wouldn't have been able to grow from my discomfort but wallow in my own self pity. It took a lot for me to get here and by all means, I'm still not perfect. However, through writing this blog, sharing my thoughts, and meditating while praying, I realized it can get better.
In moments of self doubt and discomfort I stop and think yes I can. When anyone, family, friends, bosses, doubt you remember that you are enough and you can beat those waves pushing you down.
After drifting through those waves, remember there is a lighthouse on the horizon. I know I talked about complementing yourself daily on another post. I challenge you now to focus on one thing that drives you, the thing that gets you up every morning. Did you get that thought in your head? Good, now every time you feel lost, scarred, insignificant, remember that goal. Remember you are important enough to achieve that goal, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Remember, God created you in his image so you are perfect in every way.
When I found this mural underneath a dark and desolate train stop it got me thinking about life. How even in the darkest times, in the most desolate of places, there can always be some light shining down, reaching out to give you hope. I know it sounds cheesy and cliche, but I truly believe that no matter what situation you are in...you can find that light.
I know I got deep on you guys but I hope that it touched someone today. If I got through to someone and made them feel special then that is worth all the blogging in the world.
On a much lighter note this amazing PINK romper is by James Ascher, and it's simply my fav! Can we talk about this adorable bow in the back as well! The perfect staple for summer nights and of course date nights too.
Thanks again for following along love bugs. I adore you all!
Until next time,
Love you a Brunch Parlay!
Happy Memorial day everyone! I hope you all are enjoying the sunshine, sipping drinks, and relaxing today. I was so excited to have the day to catch up on everything. Goodness knows, that pile of laundry in my bedroom will not wash itself. The struggle.
We all know that I am an avid brunch person. Meaning, whenever I have the chance to find awesome cool new spots I am always on top of it. Luckily, Chicago has been a bit warmer so I was so excited to try out Parlay at Joy. It had been on my radar for a while because of the delicious looking pictures I saw on Instagram. Therefore, I was so excited to collab with them for my friend Julie's birthday.
Guys, not only is this the perfect brunch spot, with bottomless mimosas, and amazing food, but it's also great for birthdays! If you saw my stories yesterday, you would see that they gave us two phenomenal cocktails. One was a giant, I mean huge, mimosa! Can you say, dreams do come true! This big beauty has two bottles of Prosecco, orange juice, and topped with colorful straws perfect for friends to share. Or, if you're feeling daring (like my friend for her birthday) you can attempt to finish it. They also showed us their beautiful orange crush drink, which was dangerous, you guys it tasted so good you could barely tell there's alcohol in it. Meaning, you chug and chug. Not only was it colorful, sweet, and glamorous but it was also perfect for sharing with girlfriends. These were not simply cocktails but total glamtails, between the beautiful colors and phenomenal taste I was all for it!
However, Parlay is so much more than just their drinks. We had a chance to try the brunch menu with the buffet that they serve upstairs on the second floor. I have never been so happy in my life. I am sometimes iffy with buffets because the food can get cold, and sometimes it's not as good or warm. This was the opposite. The food was fresh, warm, and so delicious! One of my favorite things was the colorful waffle. It's made fresh and you can customize it to any color you see fit! Totally Instagram worthy and yummy. Also, if you're an s'mores lover, like me, you will be pleased to know they have an entire s' mores bar! Can it get better than that? I think not.
We were lucky to have such a great seat right underneath the glowing #ParlayAllDay sign and it reminded me of the saying 'Party all day'. That is what this place was a great party! I have never seen such comradery in a restaurant. People were drinking, dancing together, and just having such a great time. The staff was so friendly which made us feel like home.
Oh, did I mention they also have a cute little rooftop with a flower wall? We got to go upstairs and explore a bit and it's such a laid back, cute, rooftop that is perfect during the summer.
Overall, Parlay was such a fun brunch spot, and hands down, I can say one of my favorite brunch spots in Chicago. Between the great food, rooftop, and glamtails, I will definitely be back! If you are looking for a great brunch spot with awesome food, atmosphere, and drinks Parlay all day. Even a great birthday spot, this would be perfect then you can head out and enjoy the town.
Once again, thanks so much Parlay for having us out! We will definitely be returning throughout the summer. As always thanks for following along with me love bugs. Have a happy Memorial Day!
Until next time,
2 Year Married Anniversary
Every relationship has its own story with different chapters of life. I cannot believe that my husband and I have officially been married for over 2 years now! They say time flies when you’re in love. Throughout those two years, we have been through the ups, the downs, and the roll around. So many changes happened in our lives, between me changing career paths, to finding a condo to move into, to simply learning how to live together. However, through all those times I wouldn’t change a thing.
Not many of you would know this but my husband and I met in high-school. It was my junior year and his senior year. We started off as close friends and he likes to joke that he knew I was the one from the moment he met me, for me it took a minute. I don't think I realized that love is so much more than the butterflies and the adoration. It's about that feeling of home, of knowing that your person always has your back through thick and thin.
Photos of us through the years
My husband has been with me through the roughest times in my life, through prayer, love, and patience we have successfully been dating for 10 years.
I am not going to say it's been all butterflies and rainbows. There have been lots of storms that have come our way. However, it's through those storms that we became stronger in our love, communication, and relationship.
Our Christianity is something that we both bonded with from the get-go. It's not normal that you meet an 18-year-old boy that will go to church with you and your family on your first date. That was my husband. I remember it clearly as if it were yesterday. He showed up to the church, greeted my mom with a firm hand-shake, and wore a charcoal grey suit that he bought from Goodwill. After that, my mom was smitten and even told me "That's going to be your husband."
Of course years later her words came to fruition when my husband and I walked down the aisle. Life is already kind of stressful but when you find your person to share it with, wow, does it seem magical.
Blogging is something I am so passionate about and I am so blessed to have a husband who supports me through it all. From discussing topics to advise, to squatting on a cold day to take my picture, it's through his love and dedication that I can do my blog.
I wanted to do something different for our anniversary by incorporating my husband in this blog post. He was a bit hesitant to answer these questions at first but through some heavy persuasion, he agreed. Below, you will find my husband's answers to the following questions. Thanks so much for following along with our 'strange' fairytale. As always I love you guys thanks so much for reading. To my husband, happy anniversary gooh, I love you to the moon and back!
WHEN DID YOU FIRST MEET Rachel AND WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION?
At high-school by her locker, she wore a lot of make up. I liked how she had the winged eyeliner. I saw her everyday when I was running late for school and she was doing attendance. I wanted to talk to her then but I was too scarred. I finally had enough courage to add her on Facebook, which was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
WHICH ONE OF YOU MORE AGGRESSIVELY PURSUED THE OTHER?
I pursued her but she rejected me every-time. (I still tease her about this) I eventually won her over with my great charm. She just couldn't say no to my good looks.
WHAT ARE THE BEST AND WORST PARTS OF YOUR WIFE’S JOB AS A BLOGGER?
She always takes pictures of everything which can make it hard to be in the moment. The positive, I have memories and pictures from events, vacations, and outings we do together. She also takes me on fun food and drinking events I like that a lot. I also am proud of how hard she works in perfecting her craft. It takes a lot of dedication to do what she does.
WHAT IS SOMETHING WE MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT YOUR WIFE?
She thinks reality TV is real.
WHAT DOES YOUR WIFE DO THAT DRIVES YOU CRAZY?
Binge watches reality TV
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY YOU DO THAT DRIVES HER CRAZY?
There's this one time I came home drunk and flushed a candle down the toilet...not one of my best moments.
DO YOU HAVE A MAN CAVE?
Yes, a small one in the corner.
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR WIFE?
I love how she always thinks about my family. I also love how she shows her affection to me while I am stressed from work or other projects I'm working on. I'm big on personal time and she always dedicates some time to me.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OTHERS ABOUT MARRIAGE?
Happy wife happy life. Wife is always right...even when she's wrong.
Authentic Mexican Street Food Experience
Hey guys and happy Wednesday! I had such an amazing weekend resting and finally catching up on the sleep that I desperately needed. There's nothing better than a great food find, especially when it deals with tacos. It was Cinco De Mayo last weekend, and what better way to celebrate than experiencing a TACOrific authentic Mexican restaurant!
I was so excited to get invited to experience The Invicto, which is located in Naperville, conveniently right off the highway. I think Mexican food is pretty high on my list of favorites so my expectations are always high.
When my husband and I walked inside we were greeted not only by the colorful decor but, with the delicious smells of chorizo, tacos, and quesadillas, it's like I died and went to heaven.
The staff was extremely friendly and it simply reiterated the idea of going out and having a family atmosphere or eating with family away from home. I love when restaurants portray that ora.
I didn't even know where to start so the staff had us try all the tacos on the menu. They were so beautifully decorated and made. The tacos included: Carne Asada, Pollo Asado, Arabes, Chorizo Verde, Elotes, and Aguacate Fritos. I don't even think I could pick a favorite, everything was so fresh and delicious. Also, all their tortillas are freshly made you simply cannot find that too often.
I am a huge buritto person so I had to try the Cali burrito, which had fries!!! Yes fries, inside, along with steak, guacamole, queso, onions, tomatoes, cheese, and sour cream. I mean can you think of anything better than that? I am no food expert, by any means, but I think even Gordon Ramsey would be proud of this brilliant food masterpiece.
Aside from the amazing food, atmosphere, and staff, I learned about their mission as well. We all know that I love giving back it's something I am so passionate about. Invicto goes by the one feeds two motto. What does that mean? Basically, when you buy a meal from there, a child in the developing world receives a school meal as well. That is such a beautiful thing because not many restaurants do that. Any person that would like to join this cause can do so by visiting their amazing restaurant.
It was actually nice during the weekend, finally, right? So my husband and I finished our delicious lunch with some nice cold paletas. It seriously was a perfect Cinco De Mayo weekend.
Thank you all for taking the time to read my blog. I try to keep you guys updated with all the cool food, location, and clothing finds so I love how you follow along with me through this journey. Remember to smile!
Until next time,
Droppin' it Like it's Hot Dropp Shopp!
I love spring and summer so much because you can finally go out more and wear a bit less. I am constantly in search of great finds and I am so excited to be doing a Spring haul with the amazing Dropp Shoppe. We all know I have a special place in my heart for businesses that are operated in the USA. They had a dream to provide affordable beautiful clothing. They worked hard to accomplish that dream and look where they are now!
I was so pumped to try on and style some of these awesome pieces. Some of them are great for special occasions like this beautiful Walk my Way rainbow maxi with a crisscross back. The material is so lightweight and fun you can wear it for that first date or going out shopping with girlfriends. The colors are literally all my favorite because we all know I like a TON of color in my clothing. I love the slit up the side as well giving that tiny bit of sexy along with glam. The best part of this dress is it does all the glam for you so if you want to put your hair up in a fabulous messy bun with a bright lip you are ready to take the town and go. I think we need more dresses like this for sure. This dress is true to size and I am wearing a size small.
This jumpsuit is called Miss Independent and I am all here for it! It just screams fierce boss lady. I personally love jumpsuits but due to my height, I can't always wear them. However, this jumpsuit fits so perfectly and is perfect for tall and small statures. Guys, can we talk about this gorgeous jeweled neckline? It literally reminds me of something that my idol Meghan Markle would wear. Super sophisticated and chic. Got that business proposal coming up or that presentation? No worries Miss Independent is going to give you the sparkle you deserve to get you through your day. Also, a super fan of open backs and this jumpsuit has one!
It's a Vibe halter tanks are super cute and colorful. I love how they fit and the material is super comfortable and sleek. My skin is always sensitive to fabrics but this one feels like you're sleeping on a soft pillow. I got sent two of the fun egg colors and I am all about it! I paired it with their navy jeans and the white jeans which worked perfectly with one another. It's a perfect rooftop outfit or after work happy hour. Their Hey Good Lookin' and It's a Beautiful Day jeans are so flattering. I sometimes struggle with jeans. In fact, I was joking with someone a couple of days ago telling them I honestly don't have many jeans in my closet. In high-school I was all about it but as I got older I couldn't find jeans that fit me or gave me that added support I needed. Most jeans give me no lift but make me look super flat and in this day and age not cool ha-ha. Yet, these awesome jeans gave that added support and made me feel super amazing in my skin. The combos together can work so well with each other and I was so excited to pair a nice little heel with it along with a blazer or nice little sweater.
You ever go out grocery shopping or spending a day with friends walking around downtown window shopping? This Keepin' It Casual is for you when you have those long days! I actually wore it out with my husband while we were doing a boozy brunch and I had a couple of people come up and feel the soft material. I was all about it! This French terry strapless jumpsuit is like a blanket (the soft ones) covering your body. I like the grey color because you can pair it with a bunch of different colors it's quite versatile. Personally, I wore it with a nice black choker and some black wedges. It's that perfect everyday comfortable look that we all need in our life.
I am obsessed with this Here for You black buttoned down dress! Ugh, I am absolutely obsessed with it for two reasons. One, its versatility I paired it with a black and white kimono and a cute hat and I was ready to go anywhere. Two, its comfort, such a great material that meshes to your skin perfectly. Normally with these type of dresses, it's too tight showing off every curve and bump on your body. Might be great if you're going to the club but not for everything else. I received this dress in black but there are a couple of other colors you can choose from!
This Rise and Slay is that perfect bit of motivation you need for your day! Pairing this with the beautiful Glow White leggins is making me want to go out and take a run simply to show off my outfit. I am obsessed with the crisscross design on the leggings and the shirt is perfect light material so it doesn't allow you to drench in sweat. Now, you can also pair the Soft and Breezy Tee with these leggings. I love the dynamic back on this super comfortable shirt. All you need is to pair a cute lacey bra or sports bra underneath and you are ready to go.
Also, where would your clothing be without the little bit of sparkle from the earrings? I am obsessed with not only these colors but the design as well. I have seen these little beauties become very popular and I am all about it! Perfect for the office, for a fun night out, or for a nice cocktail hour. These beauties can accessorize you anywhere and everywhere.
I was so excited to be able to model and show you guys these awesome finds from The Dropp Shoppe. I try to choose my clothing wisely for you guys, places and companies I truly love and believe in. I want to give a huge shout out to The Dropp Shoppe for allowing me to support and show off their dream and baby, sometimes that is quite hard to do. The Dropp Shoppe is such a wonderful clothing company and I am honored to be wearing some of their amazing spring finds.
If you are ready to go shopping and get some fantastic spring and summer finds we got you covered! Because I love you guys so much you can use my promo code 'Rachel20' to get 20% off your orders! We all know those tax returns are coming in so make sure to treat yourself to some lovely pieces-- you deserve it! Huge shout out to my friend Katheleen for shooting this amazing try on video for me! Once again thank you so much for following along with me on this amazing journey! I love you all so much!
Until next time,
Struttin' Down the Runway
Fashion is more than just a hobby or something you merely study. It is a lifestyle and a way of expressing emotions, thoughts, or memories that have left an everlasting impression on you. Whenever I see a designer's dream design I see their story, their love, and their creation blossom into real life. That is the beautiful thing about fashion and one of the main reasons that I was so honored to be apart of Chicago Fashion Week.
When I was a little girl I always dreamed about walking in a runway show. However, as I got older the disappoint of reality started to set in. I was told that my height would never allow me to do one of my dreams. I took it with a grain of salt believing that I can do anything I put my mind to.
However, after you hear 'No' several times you start to believe what you are told. Words, whether they mean to or not, can affect everything. I lost confidence in myself and started to actually let myself believe that I would never have the chance to walk in any type of fashion show despite how hard I tried.
I wish I could speak to 15 year old me. If she could see how far she's come I know she would be proud. I'd tell her to keep her head held high, believe in herself because she has the power and the strength to do anything. Now, I am not saying this to gloat but to show that people will tell you things. Put you down, or tell you that you can't do something. Take those comments but don't water them and grow them into this weed of self-hate. Remember that no one knows what the future holds and you are the author of your own destiny.
After that guru type post above (sorry for all the flowery lingo) I wanted to tell you guys about my first event for Chicago fashion week. Style Rivals was such an amazing opportunity to be a part of. I got to watch these amazing new designers showcase their elaborate clothing, some of them unleashing their styles for the first time. To be a part of someone's dream coming true is incredible. The ora inside the room was contagious and so very positive as people had their dreams unfold before their eyes.
These designs ranged from Chicago inspired, people, wearing Chicago themed memorabilia, to a plethora of pink (guess my favorite). The creativity was endless and I was so proud of each and every designer who had the courage to showcase their ideas and designs.
Also, I want to give a huge shout out to one of my favorite Chicago clothing stores, Akira, for making me glamorous. I thought there would be no better designer to wear than the incredible stylish Akira that dressed me in a silver Grecian goddess type dress. Not only did it fit perfectly but it was the right about of class and sass. We all know I normally go for the bright bold colors, but, there is something so elegant about silver. Plus, it paired quite nicely with the glam fashion chic theme. So, thank you so much to Akira for getting me fashion show ready!
Fashion Bar Chicago
The founder and CEO Tony made me proud to be in this show, because of his mission. Inclusion was the theme of these shows and for once you could see all people, come together to show off their passion in designer clothing. What I loved about Tony is that he made it possible for short, plus, and average people to be able to walk down the runway showing that they are just as capable as anyone else. He spoke about how the fashion industry causes people to doubt themselves instead of encouraging but he wants to change the game and make everyone feels beautiful in their own skin.
I had the opportunity to walk for the lovely Dress 2 Dazzle which has work out, evening, and business attire. It was such an honor to wear this phenomenal clothing. If you remember, I actually did a feature for her on my blog before. You can read more information about her here.
I got to witness and learn about some amazing designers that ranged from all over the world. Most importantly I got to walk with one of my close friends Kathleen, something that I have never done before. Not only was she a model but she also hosted some of the show. Her and her friend Ryan, filmed and edited a lot of the content from the show. Courtesy of them, you can watch a bunch of our highlights above in the Chicago Fashion Week video. They were so talented and it was such an honor to be a part of this with them.
There are so many times when you look back and feel thankful for all the things you've done. I know that I will be able to look back on this moment and remember checking off one of my childhood dreams. I want to them everyone who helped me in preparation for this show. I want to also thank the Fashion Bar team and designers that made this a reality.
Also, a huge thank you to all of you who read and continue to support me through my journey in life. I love you all! Happy Friday may your drinks be strong and your weekend long!
Until next time,
Hair With Nicole Marie Salon
As you all know I was getting ready to walk in Chicago Fashion Week. There was a lot of preparations that I had to make, one being my hair. My hair has always been something important to me. When I was a young girl I remember being so sad that it wasn't as long, colorful, or flowy as the glorious characters in a movie. It has always been stubborn, staying shoulder length despite all the remedies, vitamins, and care. However, my love for long hair never diminished. In fact, it increased the older I became.
Not only do I love long hair but I love being blond, which is practically like a recipe for disaster. Let's just say I love to have my cake and eat it too. However, through great patience and care, it can be done!
When Nicole Marie Salon reached out to me I was super excited because I had seen their incredible work online. You know when you go on Pinterest and pin all those amazing curly, mermaid-like types of hairstyles? They had pictures just like that and I was hooked!
My roots have a mind of their own and they grow pretty fast. Apparently, the rest of my hair didn't get the memo.
The ambiance of the entire salon is so elegant and chic. I love the massive chandelier and the color palette that creates this glamorous aesthetic.The staff is so very friendly and greeted me immediately as I walked in which gave me such a comfortable ora.
A fact about me, my new growth has a stubborn mind of it's own and they had the pleasure of dealing with that hot mess express. The new growth, which is dark brown, literally 'springed' forth. My blond had also gone towards copper. Nicole, is the cutest little momma to be with such a passion for what she does. She took great care treating my hair and coloring back to the blond that I love and am used to. She took the time to educate me on coloring and what is good and bad for your hair. She explained each process effectively and made me feel so comfortable. Also, I'm a huge fan of great conversation and there was never a dull moment. I learned about her life and how she is a proud Chicagoan, which so am I, we bonded over family, friends, and how she grew into owning her own business (Super Woman over here). Does anyone else feel like getting your hair done is great therapy? Or is it just me? Gabbing about your day while getting your hair fresh and new, nothing beats that type of pampering.
After getting my color all settled she hooked me up with the fantastic hand tied extensions. Now, if you're like me, and have never tried these type of extensions you will be in for a glorious surprise. Not only are the lightweight, you barely feel them, but they look super natural. Now, the best thing is that they come in different styles, textures, and colors. So, my hair is super curly and they have a texture to match if I want to rock the curly Shakira look. I personally wanted them for volume and length because my natural hair is thin and short. They are fantastic even comfortable while sleeping! The best thing is that it doesn't change anything drastically but gives you that added amount of sparkle that you deserve!
If you are looking for a talented, creative stylist in the Chicago area I highly recommend this salon. I am obsessed with my hair and hand tied extensions. I finally feel like I have the hair I have always dreamed about.
Happy Monday loves I hope you have a great week!
Until next time.
My Three Steps of Loving YOUrself
We live in a world where perfection is constantly thrown in your face. It's hard watching television or going online because you see these perfectly shaped, chiseled humans, glaring back at you creating this unreal expectation that you too have to look like them. This idea of perfection can be hard especially for young women who grow up feeling inadequate about themselves. Where does that leave us? It's no secret that I love this blogging platform because I can not only talk about my fashion but uplift other women in the process. I was thinking long and hard about writing this post or doing my normal fashion post but I decided why not make a difference when you have the chance to? Therefore, this post is dedicated to my three steps of loving yourself in a world that seems to always tell you that you're not good enough.
Step 1 Accepting Who You Are
This first step may actually be the best and the hardest. It makes you really step back and ask yourself who exactly you are. This step can be discovered early in life or you can continue to ask yourself that as you venture through the twists and turns of adulthood. Heck, let's be real, I'm 26 and I still have to ask myself "Who are you?" I think that question is not easily answered but it's always good to take a step back and think about what you are trying to portray in your life. What is your passion something that makes you excited to wake up every morning? Once you find that I believe it sets you on the true path of who you are. For me, I am passionate about being an advocate for women who don't seem to have a voice. I have always been that person that tries to give a listening ear and help others with their problems or concerns. In the past, I used to think of it as a weakness because people seemed to take advantage of my kindness. I began to change myself, creating this hard exterior, not letting people in, because I was afraid that they'd see me and my weakness. However, as time progressed I found that it wasn't something that I should hide but embrace and down the line, the right people would never take advantage but encourage me to be my authentic self. Now, that is not something that happens over night. It takes time. However, finding your passions what makes you YOU is the first step in discovering what makes you wonderful.
Step 2 Eliminate the Negative Talk
This can be another hard step especially because negative talk can be confused for being realistic. Of course, I am not telling you to think ignorantly I want you to be smart. What I am telling you is to not always listen to that small insignificant voice in your head that tells you that you're not good enough. If you are fighting for that promotion, or that relationship, or simply fighting to be yourself, it's okay to vulnerable, and it's okay to hype yourself up. It's not a bad thing to look at yourself in the mirror and think "Damn, I look great today!" What I started doing, especially when I was starting to doubt myself, is every other day write three things I loved about myself. It can start off small like personality traits, or the way your hair looks on certain days. Build yourself up instead of constantly tearing yourself down. Sometimes, you have to be your own cheerleader before you can be someone else's. Once you start that internal dialogue of loving and complementing yourself then your thoughts will sway towards the positive opposed to that negativity you might be used to. I challenge you after reading this post to take that pen or cell phone and write that small list of what makes you special. You owe that to yourself. YOU are amazing! Sometimes, we need that little reminder to comprehend just how special we are.
Step 3 Vulnerability is OKAY
Another false misconception is that being vulnerable makes someone weak. In fact, I believe it's the opposite being passionate and vulnerable to me, means you're one of the strongest people in the world. It's easy to hide behind this mask or shell of oneself but being raw and open can be one of the hardest, strongest, things to do. It took me a while to dig deep into myself and realize that you don't always have to be strong. I grew up surrounded by loved ones, people always surrounding me, and loving me. I thought it would be that way all my life so when times came that I was alone it became very hard for me. It took me a while to realize that I hated being alone, by myself, with my thoughts running rapidly. I had to step back, discover this about myself, and realize that my imperfection, understanding it, and challenging it, was what would help me overcome it. Now, I am not perfect, I still struggle with being alone, but it's something that I realized is apart of me. Through hard work and dedication I know one day I will get to that place where I can 100% be okay with being fully alone.
It's these small things that we tend to not think about on a daily basis because we are so overwhelmed with the daily activities that drive our lives. We are constantly in motion that sometimes we don't take the time to stop, breathe, and think about all the attributes, fears and all, that makes us who we are. Those vulnerable aspects are built within our DNA, same with our strengths, it's what makes us authentic and it's what makes us unique.
Remember, that this process won't be successful over night. Like a bud, you have to water, care, and grow before you can become that elaborate flower. There are times where you will question who you are and what you stand for but never waiver in the fact that you are special. I don't think that people appreciate one another enough. We aren't told my friends, family, or even co-workers how much we appreciate one another. So if you don't hear any affirmation today know this, you ARE special, you ARE enough, and you are perfectly YOU.
Thanks so much for reading this blog post I appreciate you all!
Until next time.