Don't Box Yourself In

It's been a little while since I wrote a confessions of a fashionista post. Lately I've been feeling super uninspired and boxed in. I feel as though people look at me in certain way and I always feel pressured to live up to their standards. I always feel pressured to look right and act right, (whatever that means). Over the weekend I came to the conclusion that I was done living for other people. I made that declaration after my divorce, but it seems that in the back of my mind I was still looking to people please. I'm done trying to please everyone and I'm done feeling boxed in. As a statement or declaration, I bought a pink wig. Using the wig as inspiration, I created a look that I felt was outside of the box. This look is super different from what I'm used to but I just needed a new creative outlet that really matched my mindset. 

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I won't wear this look every day but I love being versatile and being able to try new things. Often times when you try to do something different people always have something to say. I got negative feedback about the look from family and some followers. I just don't want to hear it lol. I feel that fashion is being able to experiment and try new looks. Of course I'm not going to wear a pink wig on a daily and if I choose too there is nothing wrong with that. 

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For anyone who is reading this, don't feel as if you have to be boxed in or stay one way. We are meant to change and grow. We are meant to develop and find new ways. As long as your're not harming yourself or anyone else. Something as small as a hair color change, an outfit change or even something as big as a lifestyle change is often needed. Sometimes we need a break from our normal lifestyle or look and thats okay. If you're like me and you feel boxed in.

Her are some ways to unbox yourself:

1. Try something new

Whether it's a new class, hairstyle, new look, or a move. Just do something different. 

2. Make it clear to yourself that you have one life to live and you can't spend that pleasing others.

Often times, people make judgements forgetting that this is your life. Again as long as you're not harming yourself or others then there is no need for anyone to judge or criticize a unique change that you have made. 

3. Be confident in the change

For me I didn't think too much about other people when deciding to rock a pink wig lol. All I thought to myself was how amazing it would be if I could pull of this hair color. Then when the judgement came. That is where my true confidence was tested. I could have deleted the images and acted like this pink wig was never worn, but instead I decided to keep the images up and be confident in the hair color change. I personally think that I looked pretty fly and no one could tell me differently. When you reach that level of confidence you become UNSTOPPABLE. They always say, if you're not ready to be talked about, then you're not ready for success. 

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I hope that this post has helped someone struggling to live for themselves or to go and do something outside the box. I say go for it, life is too short to be worried about what other people think. As long as your actions are not harmful to yourself or others, then do it and be confident in the decision. 

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Dear younger me,

Hey loves, welcome back to my blog. Today's post, dear younger me. Is and intimate post conveying 30 things that I'd tell my younger self. At first when I was creating this post I thought that coming up with a list of thirty things would be super difficult. To my amazement, as I reflected on things that occurred in my life. I realized that a list of thirty things is fairly easy to create. Not saying that I regret anything in my life, but if I had the chance to go back. There are a few things that I would have done differently. Without further delay here is my list of thirty things that I'd tell my younger self.  

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1. DON'T LET THEM BE MEAN TO YOU!

From middle school going into my junior year of high school, I was bullied. I was called all sorts of names, had a basketball thrown at my head (it missed me by a milli second). As all these things were happening, I kept quiet and kept it all to myself. Looking back, I wish that I would have said something, (not to the girls who were attacking me), but to a teacher, principal, guidance counselor. Just someone who could be in my corner, so I wouldn't have to face it all alone. I think that having a mediator would've helped to stop the bullying from going on for so long, but in all things I'm thankful for that experience because it has helped shape me into the woman I am today. 

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2. DON'T BE AFRAID TO TRY OUT FOR THE FLAG TWIRLING TEAM.

Piggy backing off of the first point. I was afraid to try out for this team in high school due to the fact that some of the girls who didn't like me were on that team. I felt I wouldn't fit in. If I could go back I would tell my younger self to go for the team and be fierce no matter what those girls had to say. 

3. DON'T BE AFRAID TO LEAD

I had many ideas that I wanted to pursue early on in my high school career, but I never went through with any of those ideas due to fear. I didn't get comfortable doing any leadership programs until my senior year of high school, but I longed to start sooner. If I could, I would tell my younger self not to be afraid, but to go out, lead, and be a voice to my peers. 

4. DON'T LOOSE YOUR VIRGINITY AT 14

Yes I lost it young, mainly out of pressure and not feeling the best about myself. I got attention from an older boy in school and gave him something so precious without thinking twice. If I could go back and tell my younger self, I would make sure to be conscious of my worth, to tell myself that I was beautiful, loved and worth waiting for. Worth a man that truly loved me for who I was, and not just for my body. 

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5. WORK AND STUDY HARDER IN SCHOOL

Most of my freshman year of high school I started off good and then I began hanging out with a group of girls who made me feel accepted, but also lead me into the wrong things. I began cutting school and making poor choices. Looking back, I would tell my younger self to focus more on my education, because freshman year is the driving force for your GPA. As your GPA stays high, it increases your chances at getting scholarships for school. Everything I did had a roll to play in my future and I believe that a lot would be different if I had I not made those silly mistakes. If I had not cut school I would have focused more on my studies and gotten better grades, higher GPA, more scholarships and less student loans as an adult. 

6. CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDS WISELY

YES!! I can't stress this enough. Friends can be your downfall, you need a good support system around you. After my ups and downs with friends throughout the years. I can genuinely say that I  have a great group of women around me. Look for friends that encourage, support and help you grow. Not friends that kill your dreams and low-key give you bad advice out of jealousy. 

7. STAY AWAY FROM BAD BOYS

Self EXPLANATORY LOL wait for a good man, one who loves you for you and will do everything necessary to keep you happy and ensure that you are loved. 

8. CHOOSE A SCHOOL THAT'S GOOD FOR YOUR WALLET AND NOT FOR YOUR IMAGE.

I say this because I  made silly mistakes by going to a school that was super expensive, all because I didn't want to go to a community school. Looking back, I wish I had chose a school that was less pricey or went to the community school for two years and then transferred out. This would have saved me lots of money.

9. DON'T BE A REBEL LISTEN TO YOUR PARENTS

Yes, as much as I HATE to admit this, sometimes parents are right. 

10. DON'T GROW UP TOO FAST, ENJOY BEING A YOUNG GIRL

11. SAVE MORE

I was always good at saving my lunch money as a young girl, but I felt that there was more I  could have saved to get myself to where I wanted to be; especially when I started my first professional job. I was caught up with living at home, that I had money to blow and instead of saving. I spent, spent and spent. When I finally did begin to save again, life settled in and things got harder. If I could advise my younger self, I would tell her to save everything until the appointed time to reinvest it. 

12. DON'T GET A CREDIT CARD STRAIGHT AFTER HIGH SCHOOL

13. SEND THAT APPLICATION TO FASHION SHCOOL

Growing up in an African household, fashion was not seen as a serious career option. I listened to my parents and instead of attending fashion school, I went to school for biology. Seeing how passionate I am about fashion and inspiring people through what I wear. If I could advise my younger self, I would tell her to apply to a fashion school or maybe go to a school where I could major in Biology and then minor in something fashion related. I would have just told a younger me to explore all of her options before writing it off. 

14. TAKE SEWING COURSES

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15. STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF

16. STICK TO YOUR INSTINCTS

Very important, your instincts never lie!

17. DON'T BE AFRAID TO SPEAK UP WHEN SOMETHING LOOKS OR FEELS WRONG

I had a real fear of speaking my mind because I felt no one would listen. I often kept things concealed. If I saw something going down I wouldn't speak up. If I could go back I would definitely tell my younger self to be more vocal. 

18. DON'T TELL PEOPLE YOUR BUSINESS

19. TELL YOURSELF THAT YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL A LOT MORE

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20. DON'T GO TO THAT PARTY!!

This one is pretty sensitive because I ended up going to an event with a friend and a guy ended up taking advantage of me. Although going through that made me stronger. If I could warn my younger self, I would tell her to trust her instincts and stay home.  

21. DON'T BE AFRAID TO LOVE

22. TRY TO UNDERSTAND YOUR MOTHER'S POSITION INSTEAD OF RESENTING HER

Me and my mother love each other, but we never got along. Growing up we would always argue but I realize now that she only wanted the best for me, she just didn't know how to say it in a more gentle and compassionate way. She would always say things to make me afraid, but would never sit and gently explain why I couldn't do certain things. Now looking back I wish I could have been more compassionate and more understanding towards her. 

23. EMBRACE CORRECTION AND DISCIPLINE

24. READ A LOT MORE

25. DON'T APOLOGIZE FOR BEING YOU, LOVE YOURSELF!

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26. WORK SMARTER NOT HARDER

27. BUY PROPERTY

28. DON'T ARGUE IF YOU KNOW YOU'RE GUNNA DO IT ANYWAY

29. DON'T BE TOO NICE OR NAIVE

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30. KEEP BEING FULL OF LOVE, NO MATTER WHAT YOU GO THROUGH!

This concludes my entire list of 30 things I'D tell my younger self. This has been an awesome journey and I'm thankful for all that I've been through and the positive changes that I will make in the future. Thank you all for taking the time to read this and or watch the video.

Love you lots.

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How I dealt with my pain-anxiety, and what I'm still working on.

The process of healing can be a daunting one, but it's detrimental in the restoration process. I had been dealing with severe anxiety for some time now. I hate to admit this because I don't want people to feel sorry for me, but I felt strongly about sharing this. I just want those who might be dealing with anxiety to know that there is hope and healing. 

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We all go through some form of anxiety in our lives, but some cases can be more serious.  For me the anxiety became so serious that it began to interfere with my life, work and overall happiness. My anxiety was triggered in early 2016. I began having severe panic attacks that would last for hours. It was like I was outside of my body and I would stay that way for hours. I had three episodes like this; two at home and one at church. I believe this anxiety was triggered by feeling trapped in my marriage and feeling overwhelmingly unhappy. When the episode at church occurred, I knew that something was truly wrong and I sought out help. I began seeing a therapist and she gave me great advice, direction and the courage to go through with my divorce. We both agreed that the marriage was unhealthy and needed to be dissolved. 

After deciding to move forward with the divorce, I finally felt that life was moving in the right direction; until I fell for someone. Before I left my therapist she warned me not to engage in relations with anyone until I fully healed. I guess I thought I had healed, but I never did. Before I knew it I came in contact with an old friend, and I ended up falling hard for him. He ended up moving away, and his feelings changed. As his feelings changed he ended up treating me badly. I believe not fully healing from my previous marriage, then dealing with disrespect from the new guy; coupled with additional stressors. Triggered my anxiety to creep back up.

I recognized that my anxiety was slowly creeping up on me when I started to behave outside of myself. I was sad, overthinking (more than I usually do), jittery, messing up at work, and just feeling angry. (It's important to recognize certain triggers that promote anxiety this way you can act fast). The only thing that seemed to keep me afloat was my blog. My blog seemed to take me away from whatever I had internalized and gave me purpose. 

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Upon recognizing that my anxiety was slowly returning. I realized that it returned due to the fact that I never took time to fully heal from all the pain. I took the following steps to finally heal and let go of the pain. 

Step 1: Removed Negative Triggers

My negative triggers were mostly people. I separated myself from those who I felt had a negative affect on me and triggered negative emotions within me. It didn't feel good to let them go because I cared deeply for them, but it was for the best. At the end of the day I had to put myself first. 

Step 2: Silenced Distractions

My main distraction was social media. I made the decision to temporarily leave social media in order to take care of my mental health. When I first left social media, I was feeling all sorts of emotions. I was feeling down, angry, annoyed, hard on myself, anxious, depressed and I just needed that space. 

Step3: Found A Positive Outlet

I took time to get familiar with my bible. Each day I would try to keep my phone away and just read my bible. I started reading proverbs. I would read one page every morning and gradually increased to two pages every morning. I won't lie, at first it was hard not to check my phone but eventually I didn't have the urge to look at my phone.

I honestly got over my anxiety by reading my bible, it sounds cliché but it really worked. Reading proverbs gave me a lot of wisdom which is something that I had been praying for. I finally realized that I can’t handle everything in my own strength and I just left all my cares and worries in God's hands. He’s still working on me, but overall I feel more clear. Not to impose my religion on anyone but God is real and his word does speak volumes when you open your heart and listen.

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Step4: Turn Negative Thoughts Into Positive Thoughts.

I started focusing on positive things and if I thought about  something negative, I turned it into a positive. I basically used reverse psychology on myself. It helped me to see my situation in a new light. 

Step5: Positive Reinforcers

I left the trap music alone and began listening to more uplifting music, my main station to listen to was KLove 96.7 FM. This really helped shape my mind and spirit for the best.

Step6: I Did More Of What Made Me Happy!

I found joy in woking on my body. I began intensifying my workouts and really getting back in shape. I also started eating better. Healthier eating promotes a clear mind and a lighter frame.  I also began focusing on my passion and creating new content for my blog. I could always find happiness in my blog and creating new content.

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**I’m still dealing with my thoughts and over thinking things but slowly I’m getting better at letting things roll off me.

**I’m also working on not looking at everything as a direct threat. Sometimes I tend to think that people are attacking me and they very well could be the case, but instead of taking it personal I've been continuing to use reverse psychology and tell myself not to take things personal.

**I'm also working on truly forgiving those who have wronged me. Forgiveness is an ongoing process but once you can forgive. You truly free your mind and allow your heart the healing it needs.

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In all, the way I continue to heal is to just keep reminding myself that life is too short to dwell on the negative stuff. There is just so much beauty all around. I recently saw this quote, "count your rainbows and not your thunder storms." That put things in perspective. Also a verse that helped me was Philippians 4:6 which states. Don't be anxious about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. This is now how I try to live my life, worrying less and trusting God more. 

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A lot of you checked up on me via text and social media which was touching. It’s always nice when strangers and friends alike care about your well-being. Thank You. Thank you for taking the time to read this post and I hope by sharing some of what I've gone through will help someone along the way. if you area dealing with anxiety, please seek help and don't feel like you have to handle it all alone. Love you guys!

Forget The 90 Day Rule!

As women we say to ourselves, wait 90 days before sleeping with a man. What actually makes us feel sure that holding out for 90 days will make him stay. A man will only stay around if he wants to. That's why I say forget the 90 day rule and be intimate with a man when you are ready. Of course waiting until marriage is best but the next best thing is not the 90 day rule. It's doing it when your mind, body and soul are all in agreement with the decision. Don't be afraid to wait, the right man will wait with you. Learn to value your womanhood because you are in control! Please leave your thoughts below. 

The Importance Of Feeding Your Soul

For today's blog post I am touching on the importance of feeding your soul. It's when you feed your should that you a truly able to help others. The best way to feed your soul is to let go of anything that disturbs your peace and to do things that make you happy. I have touched on this more in my latest video, please don't forget to like, comment, share, and subscribe :)

 

Who should say I love you first?

"Love, so many people use your name in vein" -Music Soul Child

For today's Confessions Of A Fashionista post I'm sharing on the topic of love, and I'm asking the question, who should say I love you first? Is it the man or the woman? Generally a fairytale would say that a man should say I love you first but is that how it should be? Watch below to see my feedback on this subject. I'm also sharing my first "I love you" experience.

Did I say I love you or did he say it? Find out now.

 

Are black women overlooked by black men?

I believe that African American women are overlooked, especially by African American men. African American men seem to gravitate towards women of other races. Don't get me wrong, everyone is entitled to like what they like. Where the line gets crossed is when men, especially African American men begin putting down African American women and begin to elevate women of other races. Below I'm sharing my personal experiences with this subject. 

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As an African woman growing up sometimes I did feel inadequate or overlooked because guys seemed to generally gravitate towards lighter skin women or women of another race.

I remember freshmen year of high school this boy told me that I just made his color scale. I asked him what he meant and he explained to me that he doesn't date girls darker than me. He said that if I was any darker he wouldn’t date me because he usually only dates light skin girls. I felt shocked, embarrassed for him, and sad because of his mindset. I couldn't believe that at such a young age this kid thought like this. As I grew up I would see the same mindset in a lot of African American men. They generally spoke highly of women from other races, especially Spanish women. Their reason mainly boils down to how women of other races treat African American men. They feel women of other races really cater to their men, and have respect for their men. In my head I'm like so do African American women. I mean of course in every race there are good and bad apples but you can't write off a whole group of women just because of one bad experience. Apparently it's a real mindset that a lot of men, especially African American men have. I couldn't understand how an African American man could over look their own when their mothers are African American. It was all hard to understand. 

As I got older I went through a few more instances where African American men would explain why they would choose a woman of another race over an African American woman. At first hearing these things would bother me, but eventually as I got wiser I realized that the right man will cherish you as you are, and make you feel adequate. Knowing this helped me to feel at peace and believe in love. After all you don't need to be every man's cup of tea, you only need to be one mans cup of tea for life. 

Comments and ideals like what i've experienced are common and unfortunately reveals how ignorant some men can be. As women, especially African American women, we have to learn not to take it personal. We have to have the mindset that whatever man is meant for us will love us as we are. Yes it would be nice for that man to be a black man or African American man but if not it’s okay. Just be with someone who appreciates what you bring to the table. Leave your thoughts below.

Are you sure you are not mixed?

I've dealt with this all my life. When people find out that I'm African the first thing they say is, you don't look African. Then, they proceed to name every other culture that they think I might fit. I've gotten confused for being Dominican, Cuban or Costa Rican and when I ask why, they mostly say because of my skin tone and my eyes. It's frustrating because I just want to look like myself, an African woman. Often times it bothers me that I can't just be African because I have curly hair, lighter eyes and bright brown skin. Most times people ask if I'm mixed, like being mixed is the reason for certain features that exist. Beauty comes from all cultures and backgrounds. Yes mixed people are beautiful but when I say that I'm African and someone follows with, are you sure you're not mixed? To me it's insulting, it tells me that I can't be African and look the way I do. 

When people tell me that I don't look African, I always ask myself, What does an African look like? To say that a person doesn't look African can come across as defensive and even ignorant. I know that every culture has distinct features but Africa is such a large continent with many different tribes and groups of people. There are white Africans in South Africa, there are Indian looking Africans in Ethiopia. African features vary all across the continent. 

I just had to vent about this topic because it's something I've dealt with all my life. Just not fitting in where I belong just because of certain features or perceptions of what an African is supposed to look like. It's important to realize that you don't have to be mixed to be seen as beautiful. You can have certain features and belong to a certain culture without being mixed. Have you dealt with a similar situation, comment your thoughts below?

Hair Appreciation

I grew up with permed hair and recently went natural three years ago. Ever since I went natural, I have such appreciation for my hair and I love my hair. I love that my hair is versatile and I can do many things with my hair. I can't say everything is perfect because there are times when my hair does act up. For example, my hair frizzes easily and gets dry but for the most part I love my hair. In my latest video I am sharing my appreciation for my hair, I hope you enjoy. Plus a bonus scene at end.

Does a woman have to dress modest in order to be respected?

We're a judgmental and superficial society. Naturally people will judge others based upon physical appearance. Although not everything is what it seems. First impressions can dictate how a person views another person until they have a chance to get to know that individual. The reality of the matter is that, we will not be able to get to know not every person we meet on a deeper level; that's why appearance is key. I always say, dress how you want to be addressed. For example: If you're a professional and want to be addressed as such, then your wardrobe must reflect this.

Lets get to the meat of this post. Unfortunately you can be a truly respectable woman but in our society if you're a woman and you dress a certain way people will judge you based off of your attire. The select few people that get to know you will eventually see that you are more than what you wear, but again only a select few will have that opportunity. In my opinion I believe that yes, a woman needs to dress appropriately in order to be respected. By appropriate I don't mean like a nun, but covered up enough, not showing the intimate areas. Based on our society people respect presentation. Although you may be a respectable woman, if you dress risqué people won't view you as a respectable. If our society looked passed appearance then I would say yes wear what you want, but based on our society it best to always dress how you want to be addressed.

This post is truly hard to give a concrete answer because as women we should be free to wear what we want but I based my answer solely on the society that we are apart of. As my mom says, prevention is better than to cure. It's better to dress decent and have peace that to dress provocatively and be harassed. Do you agree with my conclusion or do you have another opinion?  Let me know what you guys think, comment below.

Should you seek relationship advice from friends?

Okay, so this is an important topic especially for us females. As we are all emotional beings, it's almost rare that we don't seek counsel from our close friends about certain topics concerning our relationship; but you must be careful when seeking relationship advice from friends. Here are some reasons why:

1. Your friends don't know your relationship

When disclosing details of your relationship, Your friends only hear one side of the story and there might be some details that have been left out or are unable to be shared. This means that friendly responses will be a bit clouded as they are not aware of the full extent of the situation. 

2. Biased

 When telling your friends something that your partner did (usually something bad.) Automatically your friends will be in defense mode and their feedback will be biased because they are your friends and they want to have your back. Once they hear a negative trigger, they will automatically think negatively and give advice based on emotion and not logic.

3. Your friends aren't wired to think like the opposite sex

Your female friends aren't wired to think like men and your male friends aren't wired to think like women. Ten times out of ten your friends are going to give you improper advice based on their own perspective, which will end up being a bit clouded and will possibly create even more confusion for you. Generally I like to get advise from the opposite sex because they know how their own sex functions. Their advice is usually a little bit less biased and is more factually. 

4. People truly can't give advice on a subject that they have not been through. 

I dealt with this recently, I confided in a friend for advice and she gave me her opinions loud and clear. When the shoe was on the other foot, and she was suddenly going through a similar situation. All of a sudden the same advice didn’t apply. No one can truly give advice unless they've been through what you are going through. Essentially the advice they give will be based on what they think is right and not based on how the situation should truly be handled. 

5. Looking For Answers

Ultimately the decision has to be yours. You can't ask your friends for advice expecting for them to give you an answer. Your friends can't truly give you an answer that will be best for you. Mainly because of the reasons listed above and also because they are not you. You have to live with any decision made, therefore the final answers must come from within yourself. Listen to your gut, if you feel something is off in your relationship. The best thing is to communicate this to your partner and then go from there, but asking everyone else is a recipe for disaster. 

Acceptable Times To ask friends for relationship advice:

  1. If you're looking for advice from a friend because they have been where you are looking to go, that is acceptable. This type of advice is acceptable to seek because this person acts almost like a role model. For example: if you are thinking about marriage, seeking advice from a married friend makes sense because they've been where you are trying to go. This is good healthy advice to seek.

    2.   If you are being abused or mistreated please don’t keep that to yourself. Seek help!! 

Overview:

Before seeking counsel from friends, It's always best to assess the situation. Sometimes listening to your friends creates even more confusion. If it’s not something detrimental then try to figure it out for yourself. Be calm and ask yourself, is this something that I desperately need third party advice. Talking to yourself out loud after a problem is a great way to scale back and really analyze the best course of action. For me, in some situations, speaking with my friends about relationship issues caused me to overreact. Don't get me wrong there were some friends who were able to make me think about things from a different perspective and their feedback actually helped. There were also friends who just fed into my immaturity and only made me more insecure which showed when I spoke with my significant other.  Again, I'm not therapist just speaking from my own experiences and things I've done the wrong way in my past. The best thing to remember is, if seeking advice from friends keep it all in perspective and weight out your options before going off on your significant other and spilling the crazy lol. 

Sharing my experience with friendship and love

For today's confession of a fashionista post, I'm sharing on the topic of friendship and love. I want to dig deep and find out whether or not it's truly possible to remain friends; being that there are  strong feelings involved. 

I believe that some of the greatest friendships are those we have with the opposite sex. Sometimes you can have platonic friendships with a person of the opposite sex and feel no urge to take it any further. These friendships are great because you're always there for one another, and there is no pressure to date.

 I've always had guy friends, I just mesh better with males than females. I viewed my male friends as brothers or family, which made it easy to keep these friendships very platonic, and there was never an urge to take things to another level. I love these friendships because I always go to them for advice or even just to hang and it always remains innocent. It gets a little hairy when you have two individuals that knowing like each other but try to keep it friendly. This just doesn't work! As you continue reading, I've sharing my personal experience which led me to that conclusion.

Recently I was involved with a man who I fell for deeply; like really fell for. I'm even embarrassed because I don't like to be vulnerable and open up to people, so falling for him really took me for a loop. We started off cool, just casually hanging out and talking daily. Feelings grew and we started getting closer, up until he had to move away. When he moved it kind of forced us to try to just remain friends but we found ourselves in constant communication with each other. My feelings grew deeper and deeper. At this time I guess you can say that, we were lovers and friends. One day we had a conversation, I think we were both mentally drained from our personal lives and I kept feeling like things were off between us, i began to get restless and I wanted to know what we were doing, When I spoke to him about my feelings he said that we should just keep going the way we've been going; which would be lover-friends. As an immediate defense mechanism I told him that we should strictly remain platonic. No pet names, no touching, just strictly friends because I didn't want to be stuck in that friend zone. It's either you want me or you don't. He respected my decision, but deep down I knew that I didn't want to just be his friend but I didn't want to be in that middle place of lover-friends either. What was I to do? 

At first it started out cool. Being that he was far away, I thought I could handle being just a friend. Things changed when he came to visit. All that friend stuff went out the window, and in his presence I found all of those deep feelings returning. Just hugging him fueled it and before I knew it I came to the realization that I couldn't just be friends with this man, the feelings were too real. I had to make a decision, its either we talk about moving forward or we go our separate ways. I think being each others "friend" was killing us softly but we both knew that we didn't want a long distance relationship and had to just focus on ourselves.

After analyzing my own story I came to the conclusion that it's not possible to strictly be friends with a man or woman whom you have deep feelings for and love. Being in their presence only makes it harder to strictly see them as a friend; especially if you guys have shared intimate moments. Being their friend is sort of like a tease to justify the fact that you both aren't in a relationship. I could write about this all day but I would love to hear your feedback please let me know what you think. Can you remain "just friends" with a person whom you have deep feelings for? Drop your comments below.  

A season of being alone

I've always been a loner since I can remember. I find peace being alone mostly out of fear of being hurt. I feel that if I'm alone, then no one can hurt me. It's never a good place to stay. This particular season of being alone comes from just remaining free of romantic relationships. I'm about to get real personal and share something that only close friends know. I'm only sharing this because I view my readers as extended family and I plan to discuss this situation more, so here it goes....

I recently got out of my two year marriage. The marriage itself is another story to tell, but getting out of that marriage has made me the happiest that I've ever been. I feel free, but I also feel somewhat eager to jump into being in a new relationship (don' ask thats for another post lol). 

As my therapist drilled into my head, she said, "it's not wise to jump into something after exiting one thing." She also said that it's important for me to take time for myself, which is very true. Rushing into another relationship will only make me overthink, essentially make me crazy and push my partner away. This is the time for me to focus on myself; and I like this. Right now it's all about me, and taking my time to grow, love myself and crush all of my goals. 

It's important for us to establish ourselves as individuals and gain a sense of self before we enter into a romantic relationship. I do have a man that I would love to be with but I know right now is not the right time for us. This is the time for me to actually live and experience what life has to offer, before settling down again (this time, with the right man). As for now, I'm content with this season of being alone and I feel very happy.

Always look for the beauty in being alone and finding yourself. Eventually the right partner will come along and you will be ready for him or her. 

Stay Blessed <3

Be the woman of your own dreams.

I was romantically involved with a man and he kept saying, "I can’t wait to find the woman of my dreams and live life.” At first that made me wonder, was I the woman of his dreams. Then I redirected my thinking and started to focus on being the woman of my own dreams and what that looked like. For me the characteristics of my dream woman would be: strong, confident, secure, calm, cool, fun to be around, self-assured, motivating, beautiful inside and out. She's also a woman who is able to walk away from things that no longer have her best interest at heart. She is a woman who realizes that her body, soul, and mind are valuable and meant only for those who will truly cherish the Queen that she is. 

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My Dream Woman = Strong, Confident, Secure, Calm, Cool, Fun, Goal-Oriented, Self-assured, Motivating, Takes Charge, Regal, and is Beautiful! 

To my surprise, when I evaluated my list of credentials. I realized that I was already a lot of these things but there are still a few characteristics that I need to work on; such as being secure with myself, and being able to walk away from things. 

Let me open up about my flaws......

My problem is that I always want to be considered the “nice girl” and remain a sweetheart. I didn’t realize that I could remain a sweetheart without compromising my own happiness. Being a nice girl doesn’t mean that you have to be everybody’s doormat. You can still stand up for yourself with grace lol. I realized that I seem to have a hard time saying no and freeing myself from situations that may not be the best for me. Mostly because I like to remain loyal but I need to learn to differentiate loyalty from being plain stupid. I'm slowly working on ways to improve these flaws and I'm getting a step closer to fully becoming the woman of my dreams.

How does one figure out what their dream woman looks like?

Here is how I started. On a piece of paper. I took a few minutes to write down a few characteristics that my dream woman would possess. I was surprised to find that I possessed most of these characteristics. I began to filter out which characteristics already existed within myself (keep those characteristics) and which characteristics I still had to work on.

Please keep in mind that working towards being this great woman is a constant process.  As you keep walking through your own life journey, you'll find yourself closer and closer to being the woman that you've always dreamt of being. She is already inside, you just have to bring her out and you do this by constantly paying attention to your likes, dislikes. Figuring out who you are and remaining true to that.   

Self Love Is The Best Love <3

The most important relationship that any one of us will ever have after our relationship with God, is the relationship that we have with ourselves. Today is February first and February is nationally recognized as the month of love. What is true love? True love is unconditional, and begins with you. In my opinion, you can't fully love another person if you don't love yourself. 

Self love is learning to accept yourself as you are. This includes all your flaws and short comings. Self love means, embracing who you are, where you've come from and where you're going. Self love is happiness and freedom! It's knowing that no matter what anyone else thinks about you, the love you have for yourself overrides their judgement. 

For me there was a period in my life where I did't like who I was and this period lasted for a long time. It started as a kid in around sixth grade. I was being made fun of for being African and for having big eyes. It may seem small now, but those kids greatly impacted how I looked at myself, my heritage and my appearance. For a little while, I could remember being embarrassed to be African and sadly I even denounced my African heritage. At one point in time, I remember telling people that I was Jamaican to avoid being made fun of. It wasn't until about my sophomore year of high school where I began to really embrace my heritage.

My confidence in myself however was a work in progress. Being constantly teased as an adolescent didn't help. During those times I felt ugly and unworthy because that's what some of the kids would tell me. I've been called most names, I've been threatened, and just hated upon at such a vulnerable time in life. A lot of things that I've experienced as a young girl would drive someone to hurt themselves. At times, I wanted to give up. What kept me going was my willingness to prove them wrong and this drove me to become the woman I am now. 

Looking back, I now realize that those kids were broken. This goes back to self love, maybe if these kids loved themselves they would't have felt the need to attack me or any other child. In their defense, you don't understand much about love, life, and pain at that age. I can't blame them too much. I can only thank them for the pain in turn helping me experience the joy of love....self love. 

You can't grow without pain!

I didn't fully begin to love myself until 2012 when I started my first blog. Starting my blog allowed me to see myself as worthy and capable of more. It was still a process to gain the self love that I have now. I went through a whirlwind of hurt but it's all made me a stronger woman. I still have some things to let go. Loving thyself takes a few steps, here is a general guide. 

Steps To Take Towards Self Love:

The first step towards self love:

Realizing your flaws and embracing them.

The second step towards self love:

Forgiving Yourself.

The third step towards self love:

Reflecting over your life and recognizing your mistakes in order to avoid repeating them.

The fourth step towards self love:

Taking the necessary steps towards healing, understanding who you are and understanding what love is. 

Keep in mind that these steps will be different for everyone. For me, I spent a lot of time alone, I did a lot of praying, counseling, expressing myself to others, reading books, I did things that made me sad, I did things that made me happy, I pushed myself by hosting an event, and I traveled solo. All these things helped me overcome a lot of anxiety and fear. You must take time for yourself, to reflect. As women we are always depended on and in order to be present in this life, you can't be broken. Jada Pinkett Smith had a really good interview on this subject https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQK9Ufr4yrY see link to take a listen. 

At his point in my life I realize that all the things that I've gone through has built me into this beautiful soul. I still have a lot to work to do such as losing the habit of people pleasing, being too critical of myself and of others, letting go of expecting a lot out of people, learning to say no without apologizing, learning to let people in, being fare to myself, and overcoming a few fears that I still hold onto. Once you recognize your flaws (I mean real flaws, flaws hidden deep inside). Once you recognize and accept these flaws, you can begin to work on them, and begin to love yourself. 

With self acceptance comes self love!

 

Your outward appearance is another key point towards self love. You must be happy with how God made you. Granted there are small cosmetic fixes and ways to enhance your beauty, but you should never want to drastically change your features. I used to be insecure about wearing weave, mostly because I know men like real hair, but at this point who cares. A man who truly loves you will accept you for the queen that you are. Remember.....

Like the R&B group Next said: "In braids, weave, skirt or jeans you're still my queen." 

It doesn't matter what you do to your hair or the clothes you wear, as long as you're confident in yourself and remain true to who you are. Those who truly love you,  appreciate these qualities. 

Short hair or long hair, it's all beautiful and it's all me. I love to experiment with different styles but that doesn't mean that I've lost myself. I know who I am and I love me!

Self love is the ability to truly live!

This post was a bit long winded but self love is not a small subject and it's truly important in becoming a person of value, strength, and a woman who is soul beautiful. Just remember that any pain you've gone through is shaping you and molding you into the woman whom God has called you to be. Simply embrace pain, love yourself, accept your flaws and stay true to what you believe in. Then and only then will you find Self Love.

Until next post, stay blessed :)

29 Things To Know About Me

1.       I’m Ghanaian American-both my parents are from Ghana west Africa and I was born in Brooklyn NY

2.       I’m an Aquarius (Jan25) the best astrological sign ever!

3.       My favorite color is pink, although I also love white, gold and  black

4.       I love to swim, I swear I should've been born a mermaid

5.       I have a huge heart and often put others needs and wants before my own. It may be a good characteristic but it often gets me heartbroken and taken advantage of so I’m learning to balance it.

6.       My favorite artist is Beyoncé so if you happen to get any Beyoncé concert tickets I’ll be more than happy to tag along.

7.       I love to laugh and smile-If you can make me laugh we can be best friends lol

8.       I can eat like a man, but I keep it all in check through discipline, proper eating habits, and consistent exercise.

9.       The top countries on my list to visit are Ghana, Greece, Maldives and Barbados.

10.   I love to dance, wow this should have been first on the list! Dancing to me if freedom, dancing is therapy, and as a friend of mine says: dancing is universal. It makes everybody feel good, well at least those who are not shy and have rhythm lol

11.   I’m a Christian and being rooted in my faith keeps me grounded. Jesus truly is my guiding force in life.

12.   To some, this might be contradictory to number 11 but I really like Kanye West as an artist. I hope he recovers from what he’s going through. Prayers up!

13.   My favorite designer brands are Roberto Cavalli and Oscar DelaRente (rest his soul). I love the edgy sex appeal of Roberto and the elegance of Oscar, both designers merge my style precisely.  

14.   I have a degree in biology and currently work as a microbiologist.

15.   I started my first blog in 2012 

16.   Clearly, I’m a lover not a fighter. Keep the drama elsewhere. We can’t be friends if you’re the dramatic type!!!

17.   I love scary and action movies

18.   My  favorite food is oxtail with rice and peas, yummy!!

19.   If I see that something is on the side of your mouth I will notify you lol (people find it annoying, but I’m only looking out for them, anyhow thank me later)

20.   I’m a hopeless romantic but I’m learning to control me emotions (rolls eyes lol this generation doesn’t know how to love)

21.   I hate being the center of attention unless it’s mandatory for a job or for something quick like a presentation.

22.   I’m more of a homebody and go out if I really have to 

23.   I like to be in groups and get to know people but truthfully most times I like to be alone.

24.   I find fashion, music, and art to be the most natural and therapeutic forms of expression.

25.   I love to write letters, I love to write period!

26.   True love to me is everything, if you find genuine love hold on to it and do right by it. It’s so hard to find that type of love now a days.

27.   I love children, maybe one day I will open a daycare

28.   When I was a young girl I wanted to be a pediatrician and a fashion designer. I wanted to create the most fashion forward scrubs ever lol

29.   I just love spreading positive vibes and making everyone I come across feel encouraged. Being a good person rocks, don’t ever let anyone change you; even if they do you wrong. Remember God see everything!

 

Thank you all for reading 29 things to know about me. It was fun to share this with you all

2017 Forecast: The Year of Restoration

Good Riddance 2016

For me 2016 was a hectic year, it was a year of revelation. It was a year when a lot of hidden things in my life were brought to the fore front. Things in my marriage, finances, business dealings, and my overall life journey. 

In entering 2017, I'm not going to lie. I felt very indifferent, lost, and drained. I felt like I didn’t want to do much! I felt unsure, unorganized, confused yet refreshed. I think I felt all of these emotions because 2016 was such a hard year for me and also because I learned a lot about myself and others during my trip to Miami. The trip gave me a lot of time to think about things and redirect my focus.

New Beginnings in 2017...

For me 2017 seems to be a year of restoration and new beginnings. For me 2017 is a quest to find myself and live my truth. Lately, I find more peace and happiness in being alone. Being alone allows me to truly listen to my inner thoughts, really analyze my life, my focus and those around me.

In 2017, I only want to be fabulous and carefree!

There are many life changes that I am facing in 2017. I just got a new place, I'm more financially independent, there have been some changes in a few of my relationships and goals; but it's all for the best. I'm entering this new year free and receptive to what life has for me. 

Many of you who have followed me for a while know that I had on online boutique called Style Era Boutique. As my life has changed, and as I began to evaluate my life. I've come to terms with eliminating things that no longer serve the passion within me. I created Style Era Boutique because I love helping woman look their best and I wanted to build a clothing storefront for woman that would provide style at a reasonable price. It had a good run, but as I've grown, the brand no longer fits who I am. They always say that your first business is your practice run because you have made mistakes and you're wiser because of those mistakes. I made a lot of mistakes with Style Era, but mistakes help you grown and I'm grateful. I still plan to reopen a new storefront in the future. For now I'm content on just focusing on my blog and learning more about myself.  I'm always big on representing myself in all stages of my growth process. 

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In 2017, I'm leaving a lot of things behind and creating new goals for a more positive and sustainable future. I believe 2017 will be a year to gain back all that was lost in 2016, I sincerely believe this. I'm looking forward to what 2017 has planned for my life and I'm going in with an open mind. 

Whats On The Forecast For 2017?

My goals for 2017: 

-Learn twi (my native language from Ghana West Africa)

-Push myself towards taking my blog to new heights and forming beneficial partnerships

-Always remaining true to myself no matter what anyone else is doing or saying

–Working towards creating another successful event

-Just continuing to do what I love; which is sharing my short comings and sharing what I’m passionate about in hopes that I am helping others along the way.

Dress: https://www.pinkshadebykimberly.com

I’m sharing my short comings and my goals with you all, because I see my readers as extended family. I will be sharing a lot more with you all in future posts. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and I wish you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2017. 

I'm weary of the ways of the world!

Every day there is a new in justice taking place and it saddens me. God gave me this platform to speak about fun topics such as style and beauty, but to also speak about hard topics such as race and issues that tug on my heart strings. I've collaborated with fellow style blogger Dru (@sheabutterhshay vis instagram) to start the conversation and discuss these issues. In this video we have shed light on our concerns; while offering positive solutions. I hope that in viewing this video you all can also come up with your own thought provoking conclusions and solutions to the ongoing issue of racial tension.

Sidebar: We need to learn to accept each other's differences, have love for humanity, and respect for all. Peace and Love!

Check back soon for my next confession..........