Thursday, January 31, 2019

Let's Get Dressed For Valentine's Day!

Although I'm planning a more laid back Valentine's Day this year, I love planning out outfits for every occasion! Whether you're having a laid back Valentine's Day or Galentine's Day or you're more in 'Treat Yo Self' mode, I have the perfect mood boards for the season.

Each collage is a shoppable picture. You can either click the image of the item your interested in or the linked text below, almost everything is under $50!

Sweaters for this time of year are my favorite if you couldn't tell (LOL). They can be dressed up with a cute skirt and heels or dressed down with a pair of jeans and booties. I love the color pink, so finding my Valentine's faves wasn't too hard!

For all my ladies who are going out on the town, these dresses are sure to turn heads without breaking the bank! Whether you go with pink hues, red or black, you can't go wrong!

I am all about fashion that doesn't leave your wallet high and dry. There are so many quality and affordable pieces, you just have to know where to look!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

My Dilemma With Valentine's Day

I want to start this off by saying, I don't hate Valentine's Day. I don't hate love or relationships or treating yourself. I'm not a hater of anything that celebrates love.

But I will say, that even though this is my second Valentine's Day that I have a boyfriend in my life, I don't like how alienating Valentine's Day can feel. There is so much pressure sometimes, whether you're single or not, in our social media culture for big, extravagant gestures. On this one day, once a year. And it's always all over social media. For me, it highlights the huge problem of compassion in our culture today.

Everyone running out and grabbing chocolates, flowers, expensive dinners, etc. for one day just kind of bums me out. I would rather be truly surprised at romantic gestures throughout the year than put pressure on myself and by S.O. to make one day special because everyone else does.

And then there are all the single people. All the people who feel pressure to find a valentine or feel left out because they don't have someone to celebrate the day with. They see all the taken people in their life boasting and posting about how great the person in their life is on their social media highlight reel.

The idea of Valentine's Day is lovely, don't get me wrong. The idea that people can celebrate love and appreciate each other is an incredible concept. However, like most things, over time it seems to have gotten blown out of proportion. I feel like this is also one of the specific times that FOMO and social media heavily influence others and make them feel left out by comparison.

For me, being in a relationship is so special, and I don't need big expensive gestures to enjoy my time with that person. Joe and I haven't been dating super long, so I don't know what it feels like when you get into a routine and you're bogged down with life struggles. Maybe Valentine's Day is your way of remembering to take time to show someone you care. And that's poetic to me. But, why do so many people post it on social media? Why can't we do that and enjoy our time together? Instead of bragging about gestures from one day of the year, instead of just enjoying what you have in your life.

To me, since I have been since for most of my Valentine's Day's, I've always made Valentine's Day about the people I love in my life. My mom used to wake up really early on our birthday's and on Valentine's Day and surprise me and my brother with brownies for the holiday. Something simple and sweet. I remember that at times my heart would feel heavy when I saw all my friends and their boyfriends celebrating.

But at the end of the day, it's just a day. Like prom, New Year's Eve or any other holiday that never turns out quite like you want it to. And we have to remember that even when we see so many people doing so many fun things all at once, that not everything is all it's cracked up to be. Highlight reels are not real. You are. And the people in your life who love you are.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

What's In My Bag

A woman's purse is her sidekick. I keep so many things in my bag whether it's my Louis or my Longchamp depending on the season and where I'm at in my life. There are so many things that you may need at the drop of a hat! And these are all my go-to's that I carry with me at all times!

My purse organizer - this was such a no-brainer for me! When I invested in such a pricey designer bag, I didn't want anything to damage the lining of it. This organizer is made of felt and had so many compartments to organize everything!

Rosewater - I use this to set my make up in the morning and to freshen up during the day! It's light and small enough to travel with. I spritz it in my hair sometimes as well!

Wallet - I usually lean towards larger wallets because they're easy to locate and also serve as a bag itself at times. It can fit all my cards and cash and what have you. I've had my current wallet for almost three years! I love the quality.

Sunglasses - I feel like I always need sunglasses but I never realize it until I'm already out of the house for the day! So I started carrying sunglasses in my purse at all times. I like this brand because their case is small but protective.

Lipgloss - I know, seems like overkill but sometimes different occasions call for different lips! Stila comes in many shades and never wears off. I love the matte look it gives my lips.

Charger - I am a planner. It's how I've always been! I always plan ahead when it comes to my phone because well, this is the age we live in. I always carry one in my purse just in case!

Glasses - I have prescription glasses, but I don't need tham all the time. I always make sure to have them in my bag. They also have the blue light reflective which helps with all my computer work!

Midol - I like having pain relivers in my bag because I get really bad headaches, and this is usually for around ~that time of the month~. The travel sizes make it light and not too bulky.

Lip balm - I love this brand of skincare! The balm is perfect for all the dry air this season.

- This is a new addition. I never understood the hype, but I will admit being cordless helps me a lot. They're little and fit in anything!

Lipstick - My mother never leaves the house without lipstick, I think it's cute that no matter what she always has it on! I received this shade for Christmas. It's not a bold lip, but it's a good every day that doesn't require a lot of up-keep.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Modern Dating

Five and a half years ago, when I was a freshman in college, Tinder came out. We all downloaded ironically but no one would ever ACTUALLY meet someone on there. It was dirty and just based on physical attraction. Boys who hid behind phone screens would lead you on for months just to be disappointed by the lack of commitment.

It was new and gave a new way to lead people on. It made our world smaller but not always in the best way. And my friends and I usually found that the kind of guys we wanted to meet weren't on the app.

So we took to trying to meet guys the old fashioned way, at a college bar. I met guys through friends and formed a lot of great friendships, but I wasn’t meeting anyone special. So many girls had either dated guys they had known since they were like 12 or they met a guy when they least expect it. Both ways that are completely normal, but I always asked myself “why not me?”

In truth, it just wasn’t my time! But as more dating apps popped up, I’ll admit I tried them. I’ve gone on Bumble and Hinge dates and even met some guys I’ve really liked and even my current boyfriend. As the apps have evolved, and I have as well, I’ve found that once you know what you deserve and don’t waiver from it, it makes weeding out guys who are duds much easier.

It can also feel like you’re limiting yourself at times, but I promise that in the long run, you’ll be glad you said bye to undeserving suitors early on.

While I’m no dating expert, in my experience:

Bigger cities yield bigger results. 

This totally stinks and isn’t scientifically proven, however in my experience I have found that in a bigger city such as Chicago, there tends to be a bigger dating pool. I’ve always had more luck in bigger cities, just a numbers game I think.

Pick your favorite app and stick with it. 

I have friends on like 6 apps and friends on strictly one. I was on Bumble and Hinge for a while, but I always preferred Hinge. I just had better dates and better luck meeting guys I was attracted to.

Your profile. 

Every app is different, but the overall theme is: be yourself. Pick photos that highlight your personality. I always had solo shots and then some with friends, nothing crazy. On Hinge you have to have little conversation starters, I just always picked the ones that were easiest to answer! There’s no real secret here but just be yourself.

You are your best asset. Always be yourself, and don’t try to change yourself to fit someone’s idea of you. At the end of the day, anyone you have to alter yourself for is not worth it in the long run. You deserve someone who can see all the sides of you over time and accepts you for them. If you find yourself trying to change who you are to make someone you’re dating like you better, then they’re probably not for you!

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. 

I used to go on one date with a guy and figure “wow I really like him, maybe I shouldn’t talk to anyone else”, I’d get ahead of myself and think to what could potentially be. It’s completely natural but this was my downfall in a lot of situations because in turn I came on too strong, and then I ended up back on the apps. This is just my advice, but sometimes keeping your options open may help you from coming on too strong too soon!

I always frame my pitch on dating apps like this: if you’re looking to get out there, get your toes wet and go one a few dates to meet some different guys, then go for it! When this is your mindset, it’s easier to not put so much pressure on yourself to make things work with the first guy you meet.

Trust your gut.

I listen to my gut in a lot of aspects of my life and dating is no exception. You can tell off the bat if something is good or bad. If you ever feel like you’re not into something anymore for any reason, end it! You don’t owe it to anyone to keep seeing them if you’re not into it. Your intuition will make it clear if you feel safe and actually like someone. Another component of this that I always tell my friends: if you wouldn’t allow it in a friendship don’t allow it in your potential relationship. If you wouldn’t let a friend or a family member or anyone else in your life treat you a certain way - why let someone you’re dating?

Don’t ghost someone! 

For the love of God, it is 2019. If you see someone and they keep texting you, and they like you but you’re not feeling it, just be honest! Leading someone on is the worst and causes so much more drama and hurt feelings. Own up to how you feel and be honest with that person!

If they ask for your snap handle before they ask for your phone number. 

That’s going to be a no for me dog. I usually unmatched guys who did this because in my experience it never leads to anything serious.

It’s a dance. 

Not a game, but it is a dance. I’m not telling you to lead guys on, but in dance, there’s a fluid movement, give and take. You have to listen and move to the current rhythm of each different opportunity.

I’ve come on too strong at times and tried to rush situations instead of being patient. I’ve gone overboard and been too available and while none of that was my fault, I could have potentially really liked some of the guys but our rhythm was off. We weren’t meant to be, but after those situations, I also realigned my expectations. Instead of assuming going on one date meant that this was something really special, I waited and ensured that I remained level-headed until I was sure that feelings were mutual.

You also have to see signals for what they are. If they’re not making an effort to see you or talk to you, then they don’t deserve you!

Ya gotta get out there! 

I can write pages and pages of every little thing I’ve done on apps, but the only way you’ll know what works best for you is if you get out there if you want to and try!

I know at times it can be nerve-racking to put yourself online like this. But I say, why not? It took a while for me to meet guys I actually wanted to date on apps, I’m not sure if it was me or my dating pool, but it did work out in my favor. I have faith that there’s someone for everyone. And if you’re open trying something new, I definitely suggest them for 2019!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Promises to Myself for 2019

With every holiday season, for me there comes a time of reflection. Different points throughout your year make you think to a year, two, five years ago to where you were on this exact day.

As I’ve grown up, it has become clear that almost nothing is permanent. You won’t be forever heartbroken, you will weed out people who do not deserve your energy, and you will not always have everyone you love.

There are different hardships we all face, but there are so many successes, together and apart, that always can be warm memories to look back on. A fun night out, the perfect latte, holding hands for the first time, the perfect kiss, a bittersweet hug from a friend, laughing until you cannot breathe with your mom.

Not all reflection is bad.

I try to reflection to see where I was a year ago to compare before deciding where to go from here. 

This time last year, I was helping my mom after her surgery while she was relearning how to walk, my grandfather was dying, I was in a different relationship, I wasn’t completely moved in from college, I was job hunting. All of these things are facts, but also bring up a lot of emotions. A lot of triumph, pain, learning and coping.

This time last year, I envisioned myself packing up and moving to New Orleans. Who’s to say that this time next year I won’t be, but for now staying in Chicago is the right and grown up decision for so many reasons. Sometimes things in life shift, and I'm learning that, that is okay. I think that no matter where I am, I'm going to make the most of it and I have an amazing support system of people who love me unconditionally in both places. I do not have all the answers, but I do have a lot of amazing people in my life so that always helps a lot.

As I reflect on years past, it helps me make goals for my next year. Everything up to this point has been preparing me for this moment. Right here, right now. When I make my goals, some are specific but some are an overall idea that I hope to encompass.

In 2019, I vow to myself to:

Stick to what I know I deserve.

There are so many times that I quietly change my opinion or compromise on important things to make situations easier for everyone. In the past, I've rushed into situations both professionally and personally that weren't the best in the long term. In 2019, I'm going to promise myself to not compromise on things when I can help it professionally, and make sure I take time to read the fine print. Obviously, in my 20's I'm not going to land my "dream job" and I don't expect to land it. However, if I don't start making sure that even the basics of something are covered, I will for sure crash and burn!

I have done this in the past in my personal life as well. I think not respecting and loving myself made it hard to expect others too as well. In 2017 and 2018, I grew leaps and bounds in this department. Giving energy to the right people in my life and realizing what I value in various relationships overall made me a happier and healthier person. So I hope to progress on this journey in 2019.

Focus on my relationship with God and go to church more.

Something that I have been meaning to do for awhile. I implemented daily prayer into my life after my major anxiety attack, but I felt like I was prepared to take my devotion to the next level. So far, so good. I think since Joe and I shared the idea, we will hold each other accountable! I'm excited to make this an activity. We're also thinking of including brunch after which might develop into a fun tradition.

Get back on track with Weight Watchers and health goals.

I really let this one get away from me in the end of 2018! I was down 19 pounds from a joint effort in my fitness and diet journey. But once Thanksgiving hit, my self control went out the window! I'm going to get back to where I was before Thanksgiving and then some!

I also want to make sure I drink enough water, get enough sleep and work hard to enjoy my new job at The Dailey Method.

Things I want to continue working on in 2019 include: working on the power of sorry, anxiety management, and not comparing myself to others in all aspects of life. Things that will all come with time.

The key to resolutions, goals, anything that you want to achieve, is to break it up into achievable increments. You won't be motivated to get out and find your resolutions if you look at the big picture because you may not be able to tackle it right away. Chipping away at it slowly will also help to create longer lasting, positive habits. For example, if you join a gym in the new year and you want to go 4 to 5 times a week for an hour, you can't just flat out start working out that many times, too fast because your body can't handle it. To create a lasting habit, you need to work your way up. Maybe your first month goal would be to go two times a week for thirty minutes and build for there. Allowing your body to adjust it's appetite, muscle build, and so on.

How I plan on breaking up a goal this year is my WW goal. I'm not going to focus on how I gained weight back or how it might take all year to reach my overall goal. I am instead going to look for progress week to week. Is there anything I need to adjust? Is there anything I could've done better? Realign myself and try again for more progress the following week. Will I always be this positive? Probably not. But that's another part of my journey that I have to work on slowly as well. I'm focusing more of healthy food and portion control rather than a number on a scale anyways! Nothing worth having happens over night. Also, if what you're working towards is easy enough to achieve in a short amount of time, it might serve you better to think bigger and have a bigger goal.

A way I plan to implement weekly goals is by keeping myself organized all in one place. I plan on utilizing my new Savor Beauty 90 day Planner. By breaking up my months, weeks and days I feel less anxiety. Having everything in one place will also help me better with time management!

Goals, resolutions, buzz words, however you start off your New Year, make sure that you have realistic goals that you can check your progress on. Make it a year of personal growth, self love and soul enriching. Whether you're pledging to drink more water, travel the world or remembering to call your grandparents more often, make sure you're doing it with love. At the end of the day, goals and resolutions that better ourselves are what will make 2019 a better year than the next. Let's pledge to ourselves to do our best in 2019.
© Mimosas and Lipstick. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.