Happy almost New Year (not really)! I'm here to spill the tea on how I achieve some of my looks. I get asked all the time how I pull together my outfits so effortlessly. Honestly, sometimes I don't even try. What I find is having specific pieces make life so easy. Even as a stylist, it's super hard to get dressed. I can't tell you how many times I just stare in my closet for HOURS trying to decide what to wear. What I've come to learn is that life is so much easier when you can shop or pull pieces out of someone else's closet. Honestly! Any one who knows me will tell you that previously, tight was right. Everything I owned was short, tight, cropped , etc. I don't know if it's age or maturity or the inability to feel comfortable in certain things, but I've been really getting into the flowy, bohemian chic vibes. Nothing fitted unless it's jeans or a special occasion bodycon dress. I've been liking my clothes to barely skim the body. In fact, I've been wearing stuff that aren't my size. To achieve this look, I've been shopping in the men's section, a man's closet, or the plus size section. Which makes me feel bad because I feel like I'm taking clothes away from people that need it. There's a joke on social media that curvy chicks buy all the extra small bathing suits so they can show off their bodies while there's nothing for us to buy, and that's what I feel like I'm doing lol.
Anyway, I'm going to share a few of my favorite "unorthodox" pieces that don't belong to me, in the sense that they weren't meant for women my size. I say unorthodox because they're things that at first glance (or listen if I'm explaining it) for someone else would probably make zero sense. Sometimes it takes a while, but others, I can immediately see the vision and can create an entire look on the spot. The first is a 3X women's button down shirt. It's amazing because it's super flowy, and so easy to throw on when I don't know what to wear. Top, jeans, boots, done. It's my go-to except it's so recognizable that I'm conscious about how often I wear it. Lol I absolutely love how free it makes me feel!
Next is a geometric printed shirt that I took from my dad. We all know how stylish he is, so it's pretty fun raiding his closet. Many of my favorite pieces come from his wardrobe. The hardest part is getting him to agree to letting me take them. Lucky for me, he isn't a big guy so this top is still pretty fitted, sorta. But it's long and sits awkwardly if I don't do anything with it. So, a couple ways I've styled it is by tying it up loosely and wearing it a bralette with a front tuck. Both looks are approachable and although they're both paired with denim, it can be worn with pretty much anything. A skirt, a dress, tailored pants.
This piece is also taken from my dad's closet (I have plenty of pieces I stole from him and he likes to remind me how familiar they look when he sees me in them). Ironically, it's a women's long blazer but it's like a size 12 so it was perfect for him and massive for me, just how I like it. The shoulders have padding so the structured look plays with sophistication even without trying hard. I'm not a blouse & blazer type of girl so this blazer is perfect for jeans and a t-shirt. Super chill and not stuffy. Plus, menswear inspired femininity is in. And my favorite trend to be completely honest. It's the stylish part of me that is hardest to come out, but when it does, it's always cute!!
Last but not least, my absolute favorite even though I just recently purchased it is a men's 4X button down that a turned into a DRESS. Yes, a dress! I bought it at Ross on clearance for $7. Immediately I knew it could be something great, but I couldn't find the proper belt in the store to try it so of course I had to wait until I got home. And it was amazingggg. Maybe even better than I imagined! When I tell you this top is beyond massive on me. It completely drowns me haha. But it served its purpose. Makes me wonder how many other great random finds are out there in other clothing sections. Maybe I'll blog about a trip to the thrift store with all my finds.
I wrote this blog for a few reasons: 1) I've been horrible at remaining consistent and it's actually getting worse each time I verbally acknowledge it, 2) I've been getting messages and calls that people miss my fashion portion of the blog so here it is, and most importantly 3) I hope this inspires you to step outside of your comfort zone. Go shop in different sections of your favorite store. Men's is my ultimate favorite with plus size coming in a close second. Go thrifting. Steal shirts form your boyfriend's closet. Whatever you have to do to switch it up and stand out! Because being too comfortable is boring! And if you have any questions on how you can add simple but impactful pizzazz to your wardrobe, don't hesitate to contact me. Happy hunting, xo!
I'm back and it's my birthdaaaaayyyyyy! It's strange to say, but I can't believe that I'm 25 lol. Twenty-fineeeee. I feel so much older and wiser, and more pressed for time. So much to do! We're back to that point in the year where it's all about change and new beginnings. What's there not to love about September?! Kids are going back to school (thank God). Temps drop (except if you live in Georgia). It's the beginning of fall, which is the epitome of transition. No other option but to embrace it, right?! Some time before this day or week is over, I'll create a list of 25 things I want to accomplish while 25. Maybe I'll post it so I have accountability partners!
Last year, I made a few verbal commitments to myself that my 24th year would be all about: health and wealth, growth and prosperity, relationships with family and friends, and of course love. I'm happy to say I've actively participated in ALL of these. This past year, everything I've done has been for my benefit. I'm finding my way, tackling my financial burdens. I've continued to mature and develop in all ways possible. Where family was one of the last few things on my list, they've become more and more important to me..so much so that I'm ready to be with them in NY again. And love; can't forget love. I tried it. Loved and lost, but learned. I'm not scorned or bitter, nor am I hateful. Things happen and I'm discovering you can't blame yourself for situations that you didn't play a part in creating. As long as you've done everything you can to say that you've tried, what more could be asked of you?
This day is bittersweet for me because I have two projects that I wanted to launch in celebration of the monumental 25, but they'll have to wait. That just means they'll be better for you all when the time comes. There are still some things that I have left to accomplish in these last few months in 2019 before my take-over (I promised myself that 2020 would be MY year and that everything I deserve is coming full force). I appreciate everyone that has remained with me through my madness. I'm extremely grateful for all that I've learned and experienced in the last 365 days, and look forward to what's to come for the next 365.
Enjoy my special day, xo!
For weeks I’ve been trying to get my mind right and my thoughts together. This process is all about sharing, and I have so much to say! Remember when I would gripe and complain about my job, even though I love it, because I felt like I was being overlooked and unappreciated? Hard work truly does pay off. I’ve been promoted, again! This time, I’ve gained management status. It’s been a long time coming, but I can honestly say that I’m ready for it. Not that I wasn’t capable before, but now I have more experience and I’m better equipped to run a store and lead a team.
For so long, I would ask God why I kept being overlooked. He had to work in me. He had to show me that there was more to the job than title changes and pay increases. I had to be mentally prepared. I had to have a love for my job. I had to build a good rapport with my team, so much so that they’d trust me and be comfortable with the transition as well. I had to work for the job that I wanted, not the one I had. It was all a process. One that involved some tears and frustration, and even moments of giving up. But I’m grateful for where I am now. I think I’ve fully acclimated into my role now. I believe this is Week 5, and I finally am getting the hang of this work-life balance. We been short-staffed so it’s been super busy and my brain is always on go. However, things are being regulated and I couldn’t be happier.
Today, I’m sharing all of this with you to let you know that patience is truly a virtue. Sometimes when things aren’t looking up, or you feel like you aren’t getting what you deserve, take a step back and try to see what God is trying to show you. Maybe there are some things you need to learn in order to proceed. We must trust His timing, but continue to put in the necessary work.
This little nugget has recently come into my life about a year ago and things haven't been the same. All good things, of course! Honestly, she'll probably be shocked to read this because the dynamic of our friendship calls for me to be extremely mean to her, but it's all out of love. But I wanted to end Women's History Month with a bang! London embodies a carefree soul that still has a clear vision of who she is and what she wants. I aspire! What I love most about her is her passion towards her craft and her ability to love others (sometimes despite feeling like it is undeserving). She has changed my perception of strength in a Black woman. The funny thing is I believe life has also caused her to change that same perception for herself. And that's where her strength shines; in knowing that there are areas and room for growth, and taking the time to get those things in order.
She is THE definition of the strong friend! She's for anything all women, especially supporting black women. Very empowered, determined, encouraging. But sometimes, you have to be the strong friend for your strong friend. This is just the reminder that I know she needs to hear. *clears throat* You are all the things you try to instill in other women. You are smart, you are powerful. You are capable. You are loved and greatly appreciated. Thank you for being an amazing friend and an awesome human being! I can't wait to see all of what you become. You have such a bright life ahead of you. Continue to make strides towards your personal and professional growth, by any means necessary. And never forget, it is okay to do so selfishly because you are the most important person in your life.
As she continues to get her life together and focus more on her craft, we'll revisit her journey so all you lovely people can go support her work. Until then, let's leave words of encouragement for my dear friend!
(P.S. I styled/creatively directed this shoot!)
A blessed morning to you!
As a fan of Titziana’s blog, I wanted to make a sound and see if there would be an echo. I have to admit that I might just be a little bit biased, being her mother and all, but I really miss her blogs. Am I the only one? Her monthly inspiration truly inspired me and I would look forward to what would be next. Her fashion tips and suggestions encouraged me to be bold and step out there in confidence, no matter what I was feeling about what I was wearing. I learned, even me, to dig deep because what I wore didn’t define who I am.
I admire her, "leaving her mother" and moving to Atlanta, not just to make life, but she made a good life for herself through it all. It was beautiful though hard to watch, following her steps, tests and trials and seeing the hands of God working in and through her life. Watching her grow from a caterpillar 🐛, that didn’t seem so appealing, to a cocoon and watch her gain strength to break out of that cocoon into someone a mother admires, respects and boasts about. Number one fan!
I try to convey to her her importance in this world, even through her blogs and the great impact it has on the lives of others. She’s growing in the Lord and excelling in business and very soon she’ll be a business owner. One who is financially stable. I watch her in simple tasks like cooking, and how much joy she gets from it. This is what she strove for...faith, family, friends and fun. Like the Psalmist, may her "heart indite a good matter...and her tongue be the pen of a ready writer." - Psalm 45:1.
May she always be divinely inspired, to inspire others. Please, leave a comment if you also miss hearing from Titziana.
Her Number One Fan,
With love ❤️
I like to share my truths with you all because if not, my blog becomes one-sided and doesn't completely portray the way life works out. The ups and downs, ins and outs. I like to share because someone somewhere needs to hear this. They need to know that they are not alone in the things they experience. They need to know that sometimes, feelings waiver and that is okay.
Something happens every time I get to the point where I tell myself it's time to make a change and start acting towards my goals. You know, take one step forward and three steps back. I tend to go through these phases where I get randomly inspired, but to an extreme level. It lasts for about a week or two, then it fizzles out and somehow I'm back to not being inspired again. Currently, I'm having a hard time finding ways to be motivated to actually progress. It's hard for me to take words/thoughts and convert them to plans of action. Truth be told, I spend more time trying to motivate myself than actually being inspired to create. I've come to the conclusion that the more I lack motivation, the closer I am to the brink of greatness. But of course the hardest part is just pushing myself through the funk.
Sometimes I wake up in the morning and ask myself what it is I'm doing in life and what I'm doing it for. When I really take the time to sit and think about it, it seems like the answer is nothing at all. I think about where I could be if I actually applied myself. I tell myself that I would have so much more if I actually wanted everything I say I do, because my logic is that if you really want something, you'll work your butt off to achieve it. Then, here's the worst part, I start to compare myself and my lack of progress to others. That'll get anybody down.
That happened to me last week. I was praying one morning for God to invoke some form of inspiration in me (a constant prayer of mine). The more I started to pray out loud, the sadder I got. In the midst of my prayer, I began to think about all the steps I should've been taking and where I could potentially be today. Then I started to feel sorry for myself because there's no way I could want to achieve all the things I talk about while doing nothing about it. Surely I'd have to find another path and figure something out. I carried that thought with me throughout the day, feeling sorry for myself because I didn't think I was good enough.
Of course, that didn't last long. I often thank God for the amazing people I have in my life. They always encourage me at the right moments, whether they're aware of the situation or not. It's similar to a "talk you off the ledge" feeling and it works every time. Sometimes I need to be reminded of the whats and whys, that I am of value and entirely capable. They give me just enough to then push myself through my feelings of doubt and insecurity.
My rambling isn't in vain. I want you all to know it is okay to have moments of doubt and feelings of inadequacy. It's normal and what makes us human. However, it's up to us whether or not we stay in that mindset. We have the tools, whether internal or external, to push through and continue to greatness. Just know that fear, doubt and self-pity are not of God. So if that's what you're feeling, do all you can to shake it. Victory is on the other side.
Happy Friday & Happy New Year!! I’m some days late but I’ve just been spending the last few days basking in the love of those closest to me.. remember, I promised myself for my 24th year I’d spend more time with friends and family. 2018 was definitely a year of new experiences, whether they were good or bad. I’ve shared with you all my struggles and successes last year, how they each helped me to grow. I’ve come a long way but I’ve slept on myself and my ability to achieve even more greatness. I’ve witnessed people around me doing great things — things that made me so proud (thanks for the motivation y'all). I’ve also witnessed others going through not-so-good times. Regardless, we’ve made it to another year and it’s the perfect opportunity to RESET and start anew!
I wanted to share with you the sermon I heard last Sunday. The pastor started by explaining that this is the year that God is going to answer our LONG prayer. The thing(s) that we’ve been pleading for. And just when we begin to think we aren’t being heard, here He comes ready to remind us how important it is to keep the faith. It’s important to note that current and future blessings should not look the same. If they do, that means you’re not progressing. You can’t do the same things and expect different results, right? There is a sense of maturity when it comes to receiving your blessing. Yes, God will provide for you but you have to be ready to receive and accept it. We have an expectation to be spoon fed throughout our lives when in actuality, we need to take more initiative to act through faith.
One of my favorite takeaways from this message is that we tend to not do the things that are necessary or things we know we’re completely capable of because of “past hurts”. This includes being turned down, ignored or overlooked. It’s hearing “no” when you know it should be yes. What we don’t realize is that fear is one of the biggest hinderances, and it can get in the way of us stepping into our blessings.
I didn’t come to preach, but I need y’all to understand how important the level-up in 2019 needs to be. And as we know, whenever I speak on something so adamantly, it’s something that I need to hear as well. We all owe it to ourselves to achieve greater things this year. 2018 was the stepping stone and planning. 2019 is the execution. Let’s go be great for the next 300+ days!
Side note: I’ve been officially (and unfortunately not consistently) blogging for a year!! Thanks for sticking with me; go us! Again, Happy New Year babes!
It's officially Holiday season! Capitalist America won't let us forget it. You cannot walk into a store or vicinity of any kind without hearing the festive music or seeing Christmas decorations. The temperatures drop, and everyone gets frantic with all the upcoming purchases they have to make. Something about getting closer and closer to the holidays used to make me super anxious. I used to LOVE the holidays when I was younger – being around all my family, all the gifts – it's a child's dream! But with age and wisdom comes understanding, and I began to realize things were not what they seemed when I was a child. My family wasn't the same. The gift-giving wasn't the same. The snow stopped falling so it didn't actually feel like Christmas (sounds crazy, but it really sets the ambiance). Overall, I knew that things had changed for me and I no longer liked the holidays. Did not care for it one bit. I'd dread going home because it became a mental debate on who I should spend my holidays with. There was nothing joyous about the "most wonderful time of the year".
The irony of Grateful by Pastor Hezekiah Walker playing as I write this ... Within the last few months, God has given me the opportunity to see life so differently. So much has happened that's altered my view on things that I'd been harboring. I've lost people and it's made me feel things I didn't know I could feel; it's made me be more appreciative of my own life and the people currently in it. So much so that having a "real family" has become so minuscule on my list of things to complain about. How about being grateful for the fact that I do have a family that no matter how dysfunctional, they're loving & supportive & present. For another day to live and to love, to be great, and to crush my dreams.
As we draw close to the end of the year, this is the time we reflect. On the good and the bad. On the successes and lessons learned. And to plan – how is the upcoming year going to be a better one? What tools are we going to use in the future to continue to be great? And most importantly, what are you grateful for? Feel free to share in the comments – let's get a dialogue going! I'll start: In 2019, I will launch one of my business ventures, I'll take myself and my craft more seriously in order to enhance my business outside of work, I will allow myself to give and receive love when necessary, and I will devote more time to giving back (i.e. volunteering).
I can't wait to hear from you, and though it's early in the season, I want to wish you and your families a Happy Holiday(s)!
*clears throat–sings in my best Susie Carmichael voice*
FALL IS HERE! FALL IS HERE! IT’S A WONDERFUL TIME OF YEAR!!
Welcome to Fashion Friday! It's been a while, but I'm slowly getting back into the groove of providing you all with some good content. But I'm back to share with you my joys for this wonderful (and surprisingly already cold) season. It’s my favorite season of the year! Fall has definitely made its mark, and basically brought Winter with her. I’ve expressed to you before how I feel about the in-between seasons like Spring and Fall due to the versatility in dressing. And with all the new trends for the season, it makes fashion even more fun! It’s always about thinking outside the box to create THE look. Fortunately for me, working in retail helps me to make my job of styling much easier and seamless. Based on the trends that were featured for Fashion Week in February & the trends that my job Intermix are focusing on for the Fall/Winter season, I wanted to create looks for you guys to get a better idea of how to execute and elevate your style in these cooler temps. The featured trends are: Animal Print, Western Bohemian, Romantic and Bold/Feminine. Each of these trends are strong and full of personality, and often times cross over into another look.
The looks I've created of some of those that I send to my clients, as we all use the Internet as our virtual showroom (www.intermixonline.com). I hope this inspires you all to create magic this season and onward. And as always, if you see something you like, have questions or need tips, feel free to comment or email me :)
My favorite current trend is the Bold/Feminine trend which at Intermix, we call Femme Fetale. This girl is as bold as her clothing is. She’s super feminine but only wears pieces and colors that make a statement. She is BOLD; she is EDGY! I love this one so much because I relate to it. I’m working on adding some pieces to my wardrobe to properly execute this trend, but the bold color block and monochromatic looks are phenomenal.
The Western trend is fun. It’s the boots and the suede pieces, your denims, plaids and occasional leathers. When I think of this trend, I think of Southern ho-downs but with a sophisticated twist. It’s all about elevating your look and creating a presence, no matter what you’re wearing.
Oddly enough, my least favorite is the Animal trend — prints can sometimes be obnoxious and dramatic depending on the merchandise and how it’s pieced together..but I guess that goes for anything. If it’s overdone, it can get sloppy really quick. On the contrary, when I do see an animal print that I love, it’s because of how dramatic it is. My best advice for the prints and patterns: Keep it clean; if you overdo it, it becomes messy.
Lastly we have the Romantic trend. This girl loves leather and lace. She’s very classic but can still be as bold as the other girls. Nonetheless, she’s very well put together. Extremely feminine and chic, and mostly sticks to her dresses and skirts for every occasion.
Aside from the trends, don’t forget to layer!! (And yes, white is in year-round again!)
Let's all vow to look amazing together.
Although she's moved back to Florida, and I've done horrible at keeping in touch with her (and the rest of the world for that matter), this is just an ode to her – Court, you're doing amazing sweetie! I'm so proud of all you do and honored to have you in my life. BEYOND! Congratulations again on this new journey; I know you're doing great with your new company and you deserve all the good things God has to offer you! I can't wait to see you for your book club next month, xo!
While I have everyone here, please make sure you visit her website, and support everything Courtney's doing including her blog, her book club in both Atlanta and Orlando, and her T-shirts (which directly relate to a post she released some months back called "Winging It"). If you need some words of inspiration or encouragement, her posts are the perfect solution to that. She's a realist, but in the midst of that, still full of so much faith. I'm giving you the link so you have ZERO excuses: Passionate Woman CS. You'll thank me later.