Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Pink Sweatshirt Dress + Lip Broach

Today is a day where the world celebrates LOVE. I know we tend to make a big deal about sharing LOVE particularly on this day from a boyfriend, crush, bae, or spouse...but today I want to tap into the concept of SELF LOVE! In this day and age, it is so easy to get caught up into the hype of social media and what other people are doing around us. We see people sharing their awesome jobs, vacations, weddings, pregnancies, children, wardrobes, cars, brunches, friendships, baes, crushes etc. And the list goes on and on and on and on!

Being infiltrated with all these images of peers (known and unknown) "perfect lifestyles" down our various social media timelines can begin to take a toll on us, causing us to look inward and feel like we need to speed up our timetables or worse...that we are not adequate enough because we are not where we think we SHOULD be in comparison to those we constantly consume. But I just wanted to stop by on this Valentine's Day (with an N for clarification lol) to let you know...YOU ARE ENOUGH! It is time to look in the mirror and LOVE the person whose reflection is staring back at you, flaws and all!

It is time to find parts of your life you LOVE. It is time to LOVE your journey, LOVE your path, LOVE your personal lane, LOVE your brilliant mind, LOVE your unique perspective, LOVE your scars, LOVE your failures, LOVE your wins, LOVE your successes, LOVE your entire being...because you were uniquely made in the image of God. There is literally NO ONE on this planet that can duplicate you. You are one - of - a - kind. A limited edition. You are a hot commodity! If no one told you today, you are special! You are beautiful! You matter! 

Once we realize how valuable we are (whether we are attached to someone or not) that is when we begin to shine the brightest! We must realize our inner light and shine bright for the world to see!

SWEATSHIRT DRESS//via H&M: similar hereplus size version here - LIP BROACH//via Hobby Lobby for only $2.99 - LIP PRINT SOCKS//via Forever 21: very similar here - RED TASSELED SANDALS//via Charlotte Russe: red chunky heeled option here - RED FRINGE EARRINGS//via Forever 21: similar here - PINK SUNGLASSES//via Charlotte Russe: similar with different frame shape - RED PEBBLED FAUX LEATHER CROSSBODY//via Forever 21

So as Valentine's Day commences and you go about your day, whether you're taken, single, or building your empire,  I want you to say (outlaid) these "Top 10 Self Love Affirmations" to yourself to remind you that YOU ARE LOVED (like this perfect mural I found on a random corner states), by the most important person: YOU! Repeat after me:

  • I approve of myself and LOVE myself deeply.
  • I am worthy of LOVE and joy.
  • My life is a gift, I will use it with joy and exuberance.
  • I will surround myself with positive people who will bring the best out of me.
  • I release my negative thoughts, embracing positivity and optimism.
  • I am healthy, well - groomed, and confident. My inner peace and harmony is matched by my outer well - being.
  • I am worthy of LOVE.
  • I do NOT need someone else to feel happiness [or to complete me].
  • My imperfections make me unique and special.
  • I take responsibility for who I am: the good and the bad.

With that being said, I want to wish each of you a HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! I hope your day is filled with LOVE, joy, happiness, and positivity, whether you spend it with your bae, your girlfriends, or in the company of you, yourself, and I!


Monday, February 12, 2018

Graphic Tee + Flare Jeans + Faux Leather Moto Jacket

I cannot believe I've lived in California for an entire month now! Time has literally been rolling expeditiously (shout out to Mrs. Rollins my 7th grade English teacher for encouraging us to learn grand words even as youngsters). I'm also an official California resident now (because my Georgia license expired on my birthday which was last Friday, so I was forced to go to the DMV, take and pass a 36 - questioned test in order to get my license)! One thing I love about Cali is the endless amount of things to do and see. So far I've briefly explored Carson (where we reside), Compton, Long Beach, Beverly Hills, Marina Del Ray, Torrance, Hawthorne, El Segundo, Century City, Culver City, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Inglewood, and of course Los Angeles. 

Beyond exploring new cities I've also enjoyed the beautiful weather, clear skies, sunsets, beaches, aquarium, malls, food, and more. While visiting with my oldest brother the 2nd week we were here, he invited my family to dine at Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles in Long Beach. Roscoe's is a California staple. The food is delicious and the name is legendary. Being a new Cali resident I've been getting accustomed to the laid back vibes. My wardrobe is starting to transition to more comfortable, convenient pieces like kimonos (check out the last blog post), t-shirts, and sandals. So when I saw this Roscoe's t-shirt while dining at the restaurant I knew I had to have it as my first little piece of Cali!

It's the perfect t- shirt to rock during a chill weekend with a cute pair of jeans or you can "dress" it up a bit more with a sleek skirt and heels/boots. I decided to pair my Roscoe's tee with my New York & Co. Eva Mendes Collection flare jeans along with my black cropped faux leather moto jacket, tan fedora and booties, yellow tinted shades, yellow tassel earrings, and my super cute red crossbody bag I scored from Forever 21 for $13. 

ROSCOE'S WOMEN'S TEE//via Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles - FLARE JEANS//via New York & Co.: similar here or super flares here - FEDORA//via Forever 21: similar here - SUNGLASSES//via Charlotte Russe: similar here - TIER TASSEL EARRINGS//via Forever 21 - BOOTIES//via Charlotte Russe: similar here - RED PEBBLED FAUX LEATHER CROSSBODY//via Forever 21

I love this look because it is so simple to create and fits multiple body types. All you need is a cute graphic tee and your favorite pair of denim (flares, boot cut, skinny jeans, boyfriend jeans, high - waisted, low rise etc.). For an extra polished finish, top it off with a cute leather moto jacket. Trust me, you will look effortlessly chic. I hope you had a great weekend and that you have a super productive week! Let's set our intentions today and go out and get it!!


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Patterned Kimono + T-Shirt

Hi luvs! Happy New Year. I know! I know! I'm extremely late. But my January was SUPER hectic. For those that don't know (or follow me on my other social platforms: FacebookInstagram) my family packed up our entire lives in Georgia, to trek 2100 miles to the west coast, in sunny CAL-I-FOR-NI-A! We've literally been here 3 1/2 weeks and I've loved every minute of it. Cali is absolutely beautiful. There is so much beautiful scenery, clear blue skies, sky - high palm trees, and amazing weather 95% of the time. The vibe is super chill and the people are really nice. 

Since the vibe out here is so chill, I wanted my first outfit post to reflect my surroundings. I chose to pair a high low kimono I scored from the Forever 21 [Red] (down the street from our new apartment) with a basic white t-shirt, a pair of leather pants, and leather ankle booties. I accessorized with a pair of knotted tassel earrings in a matching green, and a pair of green - tinted aviators in front of a beautiful array of boats in a Long Beach Marina. 

HIGH LOW KIMONO// via Forever 21 (different colorsame color different pattern) - WHITE T-SHIRT// via Target ($6.50 option from Forever 21) - LEATHER PANTS// via "The Coolest Monkey in the Jungle" Retailer: that I'm currently taking a hiatus from (similar option here) - ANKLE BOOTIES//via Old Navy (similar suede option) - KNOTTED TASSEL EARRINGS//via Forever 21 - GREEN AVIATORS//via Charlotte Russe (similar here) - BLACK FEDORA//via Forever 21: old (similar here)

This look was easy - breezy to create and is even easier to replicate. With 3 simple pieces you can create this look over and over again and look flawless every-time. All you need to create this silhouette is a kimono (it can be solid, printed, patterned etc.) + a t-shirt (basic tee, graphic tee, lace tee etc.) + a pair of your favorite bottoms (leather pants, jeans, a skirt, joggers, leggings etc.). This outfit helps you look put together without even trying. As Grayson begins to become more and more active I need clothing that will allow me to get up and go without a fuss. This is one of those outfit options. This will definitely be one of my go - to outfit options when I need something quick, stylish, and effortless. 

I cannot wait to take you all on this journey of exploration of my new city and state. I look forward to exploring more cool locations to shoot blog pics (like this marina we found in Long Beach) and fine - tuning my wardrobe to fit my new Cali lifestyle. Here's to an amazing 2018! 


Monday, February 5, 2018

Dear Gray

Dear Gray,
The last time mommy wrote this post you were turning 9 months old. Fast - forward 2 months later (I know mommy skipped a month, but after this letter concludes you will understand why) and you are currently 11 months old. So much has happened since then. You’ve had a host of firsts. 
  • You celebrated your first Christmas
  • You brought in your first New Year (technically you brought it in asleep in mommy’s arms, but who is combing through the details)
  • You had your first time in the church nursery
  • You stayed with your first babysitters (shout out to TT Ashley and TT Jessica) while mommy and daddy went to a special event 
  • Most importantly you (along with mommy and daddy) moved across the country to a new coast (West Coast), time zone (Pacific), state (California), and city (Carson). 

Here are a few other things that have occurred over the past couple of months. 

While still living in Georgia you got a chance to have a couple play dates with cousin Abel. TT Marshayla was able to catch this precious moment with you and I as we were on this cool swing at a park in Marietta, GA. You enjoyed it immensely. 

This was your first Christmas holiday season. We did tons of things like hung with family, went to a holiday story time at the Centerville Library in Warner Robins, GA and even had a photoshoot with cousin Abel. 

You entered a whole new year: 2018!!! You are getting closer and closer to 1.

We moved across the country from Georgia to California. I love it here for you, because there is so much diversity, beautiful weather, and so many things to do and explore. Your first official California outing was at the beach, Venice Beach to be exact. We met TT Maria and her Grandma there, and walked on the boardwalk. You were even gifted some cool glasses. 

You also had a chance to visit Manhattan Beach and catch the sunset. Mommy can't wait to see you explore the sand and chilly Pacific Ocean water in the near future.

The start of Month 11 has been a busy one. I love to take you to the library so you can have a love for reading and books like mommy does one day, so it was imperative to me that we found a place you could cultivate this cool hobby on a consistent basis (knowledge is power, never forget that). I stumbled across the most amazing library named after an extraordinary woman...our former First Lady of the United States of America, the one and only, Michelle Obama (I will tell you all about her and her amazing husband, POTUS Barack Obama at a later date, just know they were the first African American first family in the white house to occupy the title President and First Lady). Your first time at story time at the Michelle Obama Library in Long Beach, you heard cool stories, sang songs, played with toys, and even met some new friends. I can't wait to take you back this week for another amazing literary experience.

To get acclimated to our new home I wanted to take you somewhere you've never been and we ended up at the Pacific Aquarium of Long Beach. You were very intrigued by all the tanks of fish and underwater creatures; especially the penguins and jellyfish.

Mommy and daddy took you on your first outing to a California staple, Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles to meet up with Uncle Loren and his ChurchHome interns before he headed back to Seattle, WA. Although your uncle wanted me to let you try a piece of the waffle, you didn't get to partake in any of the Roscoe's meal this time. But trust me when I say, it was a treat :) 

You've been a busy, busy boy lately as you are discovering what your growing/changing body can do. Before we left Warner Robins, GA you were "army crawling" on your belly to get around. Nowadays you still use your go - to "army crawl" to get around but more recently you've been using your hands and knees to crawl and explore every nook and cranny of our new apartment. You definitely keep mommy and daddy on our toes. You're even starting to use furniture around the house to help you stand up. I think you will be walking before we know it! 

You're also getting more teeth. You already have two pearly whites on the bottom and a third tooth is trying to peak its way through at the top. Who knows. You may have 4 by your birthday. We'll definitely keep an eye out for the citing of new teeth. 

I think that's all for this recap. Next time this month you will be the BIG O-N-E!!! I cannot believe you will have been on this earth for 365 days, but I won't get ahead of myself. I'll just enjoy the last few weeks of having an 11 - month old. In the meantime, mommy is trying to plan an awesome 1st birthday party for you, that you will get to celebrate with mommy, daddy, nana, paw-paw, grandma, grandad, and Uncle Loren and his family (and maybe a few other family and friends). I'm so excited! Until then, be brave little one. Continue to be fearless and explore. There is a whole, big world out there ready for the taking.

Mommy (and Daddy)