Sunday, July 5, 2020

Every Body is a Bikini Body


Today is National Bikini Day and with that thought came a lot of self-reflection. Growing up, I was definitely larger than more of the girls my age. That's not to say that I didn't have curves, I did, but it made me self-conscious. I was constantly overthinking and worrying about my body because brands didn't make sizes for me. Forever 21, Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, Pink, you name it, I was squeezing into a size large.

Bathing suits? Don't even get me started. I was uncomfortable all the time because high-rise was not a thing yet and the brands my friends all loved didn't make clothes for me. It's hard when you're constantly told by society that you're not like everyone else. This made me always second guess myself and I didn't feel comfortable in my skin during a time where everyone is already super self-conscious.

How did I get past this? Over time, brands started listening and showing up and making clothes that truly fit the masses! Brands like Aerie and Fabletics started popping up and making clothes for everyone. I also realized that everyone is insecure about something. Everyone has something about themselves that they wish they could change or adjust. I didn't feel as alone and beyond that, I realized that everyone needed to embrace the body they have.

We all have something we want to change, but focusing on the one negative thing that makes you insecure takes away from all the amazing parts of yourself that make you, you!

Every body is a bikini body. and to prove this, I've rounded up five fun and fabulous bathing suits from companies I feel represent every size, whether that's 00 or 25!







Wednesday, June 17, 2020

When You Don't Have a Dad on Father's Day



This year will be the first year without my dad on Father’s Day. And while it’s only one of many firsts that we as a family have had to navigate, I imagine this will be one of the hardest.

We lost my dad suddenly right after Thanksgiving. In some ways, still being in shock when the first Christmas came and went without him was probably a blessing. Because there’s so much of him in all the holidays we celebrate. He had a unique personality that lit up any room and even if we only could call him it was still apart of the holiday. And Father’s Day is a day for dad. It’s filled with all the examples of why dads are great. And just thinking about it in anticipation makes me miss him more.

Granted, I’m not alone. Others have lost their dad, some never knew their dad, some don’t speak to their dad. Some wish they didn’t know their dad.

And all of this is acceptable because we’re all on different life paths. We all come from different backgrounds and families.

But for me, I love my dad.

And as I typed that out I teared up. Because grief is weird.

Grief is weird because sometimes it feels like it happened yesterday, sometimes it feels like it happened 20 years ago and sometimes it feels like it never happened at all. And it’s just a bad dream. And he’ll call me any second now and make me laugh.

And sometimes I’m fine and sometimes I fall apart. But with the grief, comes people who care. And listen when I talk about him. And those people have my back.

So this Father’s Day and the rest of them I assume will suck for me. How will I practice self-love on a day that’s presumably going to be this hard? Luckily, one of my dear friends had some helpful tips for me.

I’m going to stay off social media for the day.

I have a lot of photos from cleaning out his condo that we haven’t gone through yet and those will be good memories to look back on.

I’m going to remember that it’s okay to cry and be sad, but I also have to remember that he wanted us to be happy and he wouldn’t want us to be sad.

I’m also going to remember all the ways he loved me and my brother. All the acts of kindness he did for us. All of the road trip jam sessions and the BBQ pot stops and the hugs.

And it’s going to be okay.

Because while he may not be here, Father’s Day is a day for dads. And I’m so lucky to have had mine.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Give In To The Helplessness




It's easy to feel helpless at a time like this.

This is an unprecedented, unimaginable and extremely vulnerable time for everyone. It's a new and weird place for everyone. As positive as I try to be on a daily basis - I have to remember to give in to the helplessness too.

And you're probably thinking - that sounds like you're giving up.

Well, I'm not.

At the beginning of this quarantine, I was always finding the bright sides and ending every thought on a positive note as I usually try to do. While I do recommend this strategy most of the time, it can also be exhausting. Exhausting because while we try to navigate this time on the surface level, feelings of fear, anxiety, and worry are spiraling below that. It can be hard for our bodies and our minds to constantly overshadow these feelings.

This has made me tired. I'm tired and I'm only really in charge of myself - so I can only imagine what it feels like for someone who has a family to look out for and plan for. Upcoming weddings, showers, funerals, college educations, hospice, heartbreaks all of it. These can already be stressful situations and having them take place and be altered by a pandemic is a new level of unexpected frustration and sadness.

That is why I'm telling you that it's okay to give in to the helplessness. When we pretend to be okay, fake it till we make it, whatever you want to call it, we are not facing our feelings head-on. This makes us feel more isolated, tired, anxious and alone. Being able to let it out, acknowledge how you're feeling and it will be easier to move past.



I encourage you to confide in someone who you trust about how you're feeling. You don't have to go out and scream it from the rooftops, you don't have to tell all your friends or your neighbors - but try to open up to at least one person about how you're feeling. It's okay to be fearful or scared, you don't have to be brave all the time.

Another important aspect of how I think we'll get through this mentally - focus on positivity. Don't put others down and spread your negative thoughts. You do not need to put people down for their decisions. Everyone's quarantine and social distancing are going to look different.

Is it important for us to stay inside and do our part to prevent the spread of this - absolutely. Is it okay for you to be upset and disappointed that things in your life are altered because of this - absolutely. Do not let anyone tell you differently. So many things are being altered in our lives and while it's for good reason, it's okay to be bummed or disappointed. It's a fleeting feeling, which again is important to feel.

Give yourself more space and time than you usually would to process the normal things that happen in your life when you can. Be kind to yourself. We're going to get through this.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Shows and Movies to Binge in Quarantine



As the Shelter in Place continues for some and people are still practicing social distancing, one way my roommates and I have been unwinding and taking a break from watching the news has been binging different shows. While we are currently in the middle of Tiger King - below is a list broken down by platform for your viewing pleasure:

Netflix 

- Schitt’s creek
- Tiger King
- Derry Girls
- Gilmore Girls
- Sex Education
- Grace and Frankie
- The Great British Baking Show
- The Good Place
- New Girl
- That 70’s Show
- Jane the Virgin
- Arrested Development
- Atypical
- The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
- Virgin River
- I am not okay with this
- Portlandia
- Master of none
- Shameless
- Great News
- Dynasty

Hulu 

- Shrill
- Little Fires Everywhere
- Saturday Night Live
- Happy Endings
- Love Island
- Drunk History
- Seinfeld
 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine
- Mom
- RuPaul’s Drag Race
- Rick and Morty
- Community
- Letterkenny
- Pen15
- Castle Rock
- Looking for Alaska
- Four Weddings and A Funeral
- Harlots
- The Mindy Project
- Dave
- Baskets
- It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
 - Scrubs
- Sabrina The Teenage Witch
- Workaholics
- Key & Peele
- Drake and Josh
- Rugrats
- Hey Arnold
- Golden Girls
- The Spy Who Dumped Me
- Book Smart

Prime 

- Fleabag
- Marvelous Ms. Maisel
- Modern Love
- Britney Runs A Marathon
- VEEP
- Late Night
- Troop Zero
- Peanut Butter Falcon
 - Big Sick
- Sex & The City
- Chasing Happiness
- The Farewell
- Moonstruck
- Hunters
- Jack Ryan
- Good Omens
- The Sopranos
- Suits
- The Newsroom
- Curb Your Enthusiasm
 - Entourage
- Bridesmaids
- Isn’t it Romantic
- Won’t You Be My Neighbor
- Mrs. Doubtfire
- Bohemian Rhapsody
- A Star is Born
- Notting Hill
- Dodgeball

Movies and shows are a great way to distress from the craziness in our lives when we can. It doesn't change anything but it can help make social distancing a little less tough. I encourage you to try and escape from the noise and anxiety even if for a moment each day!

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Tips for Working From Home


Right now with the uncertainty of many aspects of our life routine, where we can find it, is crucial. A lot of you, like me, find yourself working at home. This is a big place where we can create a routine.

Before my current job, I held a position that was about 75% work from home (sans quarantine) and it can feel challenging and isolating. It can also be rewarding and fun when you are aware of your needs and have a clear schedule you follow. Here are some that have really helped me.

Morning
Make sure you have time to wake up and check-in with yourself before you start your workday! I like to meditate, pray, and think of the things I'm grateful for. Giving yourself grace helps your mindset and attitude for the whole day! Other things I find helpful are making my bed, changing out of my pajamas into clothes I would wear to work, brushing and styling my hair, and making breakfast.

All of these components of my morning help me prepare for the day ahead without overwhelming me. 

Work
Set up your work station somewhere separate from where you sleep (if you can). If you work from your bed, it will be harder for you to relax and fall asleep in the evenings because your bed is a place of stress. When creating your space be sure that you have as much as natural light as possible. 

Make sure you have a designated place you can come to and leave your work at the end of the day. This also helps reduce stress and anxiety. I set up my little workspace with my work laptop, charger, second monitor, notebook, pens, and highlighters. I know when I'm here that I am ready to be present, productive and proactive for my coworkers and clients. 

Another great way to be sure you stay focused is to schedule small breaks. Making lunch, connect with a coworker via video chat, walk around your house to get your blood pumping are all great ways to take small breaks throughout the day. 

When working from home, it can be easy to work later than you would usually and continue the momentum. However, when possible, be sure to shut down as close to your usual work window as possible. This will help keep you from experiencing burn out. Shut down your work computer, make your to-do list for tomorrow and allow some time for you to unwind. 

You Time
When I'm working from home, I try to wake up at the same time I would if I was going to commute to my office. This allows me time to wake up, get ready for the day, make breakfast and your coffee. Some mornings I use it to work out, finish a movie I started the night before, answer blog emails, anything that helps me feel productive and that I'm starting the day on a productive note. 

At the end of the day, I make time for me as well. I use this time to work out if I haven't that morning, do a face mask, cook, shower, and time to watch something funny and light. 

Get Moving
Carving out time to incorporate physical exercise is so important! Right now, a lot of studios and fitness influencers are sharing free workouts. I love HIIT workouts so I will be sure to incorporate them into my daily routine to release any nerves or frustration. 

Connect With Others
For the people you live with, make sure you're checking in! Let them know if you have any calls, meetings and other important work-related items. In the same light, ask them how their work is going, how they're feeling and how you can help. 

For the people you will not be seeing all the time, have FaceTime dates, watch shows together and text about what is happening, schedule wine nights with friends, use technology to your advantage and for good! Listen to your loved ones and help them feel less anxious and worried. 

If your job is mostly done in an office, it will take time to feet adjusted to your new work environment but it is doable! I believe in you!

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

My Spring Essentials!

It's the first warm week in Chicago which has me planing all my spring outfits! I will be taking a few fun trips and couldn't resist sharing with y'all what is for sure going in my suitcase with me!



It's the first warm week in Chicago which has me planing all my spring outfits! I will be taking a few fun trips and couldn't resist sharing with y'all what is for sure going in my suitcase with me!


Click any item above to shop!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

It's Just a Bad Day, Not a Bad Life



Last week, I was having a terrible day. This is not to say that I don't often have things that are sad or maybe even just slightly inconvenient in my life happen but there is rarely a day that I am mad all day. I cannot recall the day before this one.

I had so much contempt for everyone in my path and no matter what I did I just couldn't shake it. I was amped, and not in a good way.

With grief, I know that there are highs and lows, but this still was not like me. I was irritable and quick to anger over the smallest things. It was a terrible feeling that I did not understand.

Finally, when I got home and I was in my room, I checked in with myself. And I mean really dug deep. I reflected on where I was in life, what my goals were and the difference between the two. I thought about my day-to-day and what I had been doing differently.

It turned out that I hadn't been doing the things that made me happy or the things that made me feel secure. I hadn't been working out. I hadn't talked to my mom on the phone in almost a week. I hadn't organized any of my clothes or packages and they were piling up. I wasn't drinking enough water or sleeping enough. I wasn't taking time to do the things in my life that helped me feel in order. Some tasks were just small maintenance things that kept my room clean ranging to things I enjoyed like talking to my mom on the phone.

I had neglected small things and it snowballed into a terrible day! A day that probably wasn't even that terrible but my outlook made it that way. The way I felt on the inside affected how I perceived things on the outside.

Once I realized that my outlook was clouded with negativity from things I had failed to work into my schedule - my mood changed. I started setting aside more time for sleep and relaxation, working out and scheduling calls with my mom. Now, these are just a few of the daily things that were missing from my schedule, but they made a big difference.

Whether the things missing from your schedule are surface-level, like a trip to Trader Joe's or painting your nails, or more in-depth like phone calls with family members, working out and sleeping, they all matter! Making sure that you're checking in with yourself is important. Doing it regularly allows you to adjust before having to rearrange and feel anxious or overwhelmed.

The only thing in life you can control is your actions. You cannot change what is thrown at you but you can control how you grow and learn from it.



So what did my one bad day teach me?

You have to practice self-care and know your self worth internally so you can navigate the hard days with more ease. There's always going to be situations and days where you do feel off or sad or like things aren't going your way. But making sure that you are constantly doing maintenance on yourself and making sure you're giving yourself all the tools in your tool kit will help you manage any rainy days.

So cute yourself some slack, drink some tea and give yourself time to reflect on your patterns! You might be surprised at what you're neglecting.

Monday, February 17, 2020

M&L Turns 2!






Two years ago I was a girl with a blank canvas.

And by canvas, I mean a website URL and no idea how to code or edit photos or if anyone would care about what I had to say.

I had dabbled in blogging at an internship with Jay DuCote in college and I remembered loving it. It was actually my dad who told me to start a blog after that internship had ended and I remember telling him no because I didn’t have anything I was good at to share. I didn't think I had a skill set that mattered.

But fast forward. I was out of college, feeling like I was at a dead-end job in a windowless office and I didn’t know where to go next. So, I turned to the blog. I remember being so worried about what everyone else thought and what people would say. Would they believe in me?

 I wasn’t (and still am not) the best speller. I had always loved putting outfits together and trying new things but would it be things people wanted to see?

But I tried. I started with what I had. What did I have you ask? An iPhone, some wonderful friends who took my pictures, my internal need to write, the passion to go after something I dreamed about and the knowledge that I would have to keep learning as I went.

That's not to say it was smooth sailing. There have been some low, lows. People closest to me were unsure about the effects that this industry could have on me. I can recall specifically being told, 'you can't just START a blog, you have to commit to it'. There were times people didn't believe in me. They didn't understand what I did or they thought it was a waste or time or that I wasn't going to go anywhere.

There are times I wanted to quit. There are times where I felt I wasn't good enough. There are times that I felt like no one cared and that I was wasting my time.

But I guess you have to have the lows to know the highs. I have never been surer of myself as a person and what I bring to the table. I've been able to work with brands I used to only dream of. I have made solid friendships and business connections that have guided me to where I am today in my career. All with hard work, long hours, good laughs and people like you.

Having all of the experiences that Mimosas & Lipstick has brought me these last two years are things I could have never imagined two years ago. And I think that there are some important lessons that I learned along the way.

The most important being, if it makes you nervous and unsure, you're probably going in the right direction.


Today, I am still not sure where Mimosas & Lipstick is taking me, but I know that as long as I feel like I'm being challenged and I'm enjoying what I'm doing - we're here to stay.

I'm just along for the ride and I'm so happy you are too.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Comfy Cozy This Winter


Finding winter accessories that are not only cute but functional can be a challenge! I need durable, warm and sturdy outerwear for the bitter Chicago cold. Having solid weatherproof boots protects me from any elements that come with winter snow, sleet, and ice. Slips and falls are inevitable for me too, so anything that helps prevent them is a win in my book.

Enter: Lugz boots. I wasn't sure about the furry boot trend, and I didn't know if I could pull it off but these boots changed my mind! These boots are a lifesaver as the temperature drops in Chicago! Now available at DSW, they are warm without overheating your feet during your commute. Available in fun colors like this blush pink.



The lace-up features, water resistance, and good bottom tread on these bad boys never make me question my footwear where I'm running out the door to the office or to meet a friend. These keep me on the go, warm and protected from the elements.

These boots help me stay on my feet all day! The Flexastride Memory Foam insole never makes my feet uncomfortable. I also love that the boots have a faux fur trim but are not completely lined inside the boots so I don't get overheated throughout the day; which is a huge factor for me in boot buying!

I think another great feature of these boots is the price point. Finding great quality shoes at better prices is what I love to bring to you! There are so many styles that Lugz offers and it's so fun that they are not just made for the everyday girl, but they are also priced for the everyday girl!


With a style for everyone, be sure to check them out next time you're at DSW.

This post is sponsored by Lugz and the InfluenceHer Collective. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Mimosas & Lipstick possible!
© Mimosas and Lipstick. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.