Wednesday, August 28, 2013

{Personal Style} Summer Love, Maxi Love

A few weeks ago at the start of Summer,  I rocked this maxi dress for an afternoon brunching, walking the streets of NYC, and absorbing all that it has to offer. It was after Aiden and I returned from our trip to Puerto Rico and, as you can clearly see, I had a sick tan going on.

The halter dress, which features a sweetheart neckline, front pleating, and empire waist was the perfect accessory to my tan. The big print makes it trendy, chic, and some kind of sexy.

Needless to say, I love this dress.

Since it was such a hit a few weeks ago (with me, of course), I decided to rock it again this past weekend at a backyard family BBQ. This time, I added stacked bracelets, long earrings, bold lipstick, and a purse to jazz it up.

It was fun and easy and perfect for the event.

Hope you all are having a fabulous week. Stay stylish!

Friday, August 23, 2013

On Purposeful Preparation

Photo via
Never let the reason for your second defeat be the same reason as your first defeat. Always think, "What is the prevention that needs to take place so that this doesn't happen again?"

Those are words that my former boss would constantly utter. She was on to something because she always seemed to be prepared to take care of any situation. And if she couldn't take care of the situation the first time, best believe that she was prepared to effectively deal with it the second time around. 

I always knew that preparation was one of the keys to success. (That sounds so cliché, I know.) But she really engrained in me the need for purposeful preparation in a very meaningful way.

I specifically noticed that this week as I started to feel a little anxious about September's arrival. With back-to-school stuff going on for Aiden and a more demanding schedule at work and freelancing and blogging and life, I tend to fall behind on a lot of things.

No doubt about it, the month of September has kicked my ass for the past two years.

But this year will be different. I'm getting things in order for September by plotting and planning. Purposefully.

I've got a schedule and weekly goals and I'm testing them out next week so that I'll be ready to kick ass once September 1st rolls around. It's going to be a good month, a productive month, a successful month.

I'm claiming it.

As Colin Powell says, "There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure."

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sesame Place, Agenda-Free

Out of all the places Aiden and I love to visit, Sesame Place has always topped our list. Just about two hours away, it always makes for a fun day trip. A couple weeks ago, we packed up and headed to Sesame Place for the day, but unlike previous times, Aiden was not opposed to going on the rides that were taller, faster, and more "big kid-esque."

Not to mention that Aiden gets super excited whenever he spotted Big Bird or Elmo or Ernie or anyone from the Sesame Street clan, which made meet and greets and high-fives one of the highlights of our day.

It was a good time.

Normally, we'd visit Sesame Place for a particular event (Halloween Spooktacular in the Fall, Opening Weekend in the Spring, etc.) so I'd have a plan of the rides and areas that I want Aiden to experience. But not this time. This time, I allowed the kid to choose exactly where he wanted to go and what he wanted to do.

And you know what? It was really fun. And freeing without having to worry about an itinerary.

Aiden had his eyes set on the nets, the sand area, the flying airplanes, and water rides. We stayed at the park until closing time (a first time for us!) to watch the Neighborhood Street Parade, and, although I was really tired the next day, I am so happy that we did. Experiencing the parade at nightfall (when all of the Sesame Place street lights were on) was quite magical. Aiden's been watching replays on You Tube ever since!

So now I know: when you visit Sesame Place, you've gotta do it agenda-free! It's the only way to roll.

{Disclaimer: I was provided with complimentary tickets to Sesame Place in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

Monday, August 19, 2013

{Personal Style} School's In!

dress: Target | cuff bracelets: The Junk Boutique | necklace: Aldo

Folks, it's here. The unofficial end of Summer. And the beginning of the school year. Three weeks ago, my teachers arrived for professional development sessions and classroom unpacking time. Now, the students will arrive.

Game time!

As always, I put together my very best I'm-a-grown-up-now First Day of School Outfit. This year, I kept it simple and chic with a black dress and trendy pumps. The dress features a round neck, fit and flare silhouette, and a back zip. The cap sleeves with faux leathers offers a classic rocker-chic feel.

Inspired by the sleeves, I paired the outfit with leather cuff bracelets -- one black, one white. Pretty classic, huh?

Totally professional. Totally stylish. And totally my kinda work outfit!

I'm super pumped for this school year and totally ready to lead my teachers and students over the finish line. It's going to be great!

Have a lovely week, y'all! Stay stylish!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

More Faith, More Fight

Sometimes I get happy when I think of all the situations that I've been through in my life. Not just because I overcame the situation, but for the situation itself. I've learned how to navigate through some tough stuff, push pass messiness, and come out on the other side triumphant.

A little stronger. A little wiser. A little better.

And all because of tough situations. 

I'm not talking about becoming a mother at an age when I was still growing up, figuring out adulthood, coming of age, and trying to create a career path that makes my soul happy.

I'm not talking about when I made it through the toxic and abusive relationship with my ex and decided embrace this single mom gig. 

I'm not just talking about when I made it through graduate school as a single mother and got those two master degrees. Don't get me wrong, taking your two-year-old to class with you because you couldn't find a babysitter and didn't want to miss any of the work isn't easy.

But it's not impossible either.


I'm talking about tough situations and circumstances that took place in my life before I peed on a stick and found a positive oh-my-freaking-goodness-you're-pregnant sign staring back at me. 

I'm talking about laying on the couch with my birth mother as the marshal came to knock on our apartment door and evict us for not paying the rent. I'm talking about living in homeless shelters because we literally didn't have a place to stay. I'm talking about entering the foster care system and moving from one foster home to another because I was being physically abused.

The odds to succeed were against me. But I beat those odds.


I learned how to endure and I learned how to perseverance. I learned to have a little more faith and a little more fight. I learned that if I could just make it pass certain hard times, things will be better on the other side.

I knew that something good was going to happen if I just worked hard and excelled in school. I figured out how to be self-sufficient and solve problems at a high level. I learned the importance of being proactive and re-grouping and re-strategizing when things didn't go well the first time. Or second time. Or fifth time. I learned that defeat was a time to get back up again and start back over again.

Resilience. It's damn near half the battle, right?

Hard times helped me to learn that I need to have a little more faith and a little more fight in me. It taught me that it's okay to feel a little frustrated and a little downtrodden. But then it's time to get back up again and push pass the struggle.

A little more faith and a little more fight. Sometimes that's all it takes to get to your success. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

{Personal Style} Little Summer Dress

dress: H&M | shoes: Aldo | necklace and ring: H&M | nails: OPI

I haven't published a personal style post in a few weeks. That's mainly because my Summer style is consisting of professional clothing during the workweek (blazers and slacks and pencil skirts) and swimsuits during the weekend. (Pools, beaches, and kid-friendly water parks are commonplace at this point.)

That's why I love Summer so much. The days are longer, the clothing is lighter, and the living is easy.

I've had this little white number in my closet for a few months now and couldn't wait till Summer so that I could whip it out. Although it features a three-quarter sleeve, the fabric is so lightweight that it's absolutely perfect for Summer months.

Paired with a bold statement necklace, a messy topknot, and trendy flats with spiked embroidery, the dress is a hit! (To me, at least.)

And so, I'm calling it my Little Summer Dress. LSD. Kinda like LBD.

I hope you all are having a fabulous Summer and making loads of fun memories. Stay Stylish!

Monday, August 5, 2013

{Dating Tales} Baby Steps

Remember this post? It went a little something like this...

It’s been a few weeks that The Guy and I have been hanging out. I kinda like him.

We’ve spent time alone on dates and we’ve spent time together with Aiden. This is a first for me. I usually don’t introduce my dates to Aiden.

I enjoy his company and have a really good time whenever I’m with him. The entire “situationship” feels pretty grown up to me. And that’s a good thing.

But there’s this thing about communication. A couple weeks ago I wrote this post about how I maybe kinda sorta might could possibly be an ineffective communicator when it comes to romantic relationships.

And it’s true. I am.  

I have a cycle that goes a little something like this: I have a disagreement with a guy. I get angry. I shut down. I think not-so-nice things to myself that I’d like to say, but wouldn’t say because, well, it’s not-so-nice. I shut down some more. I get silent. (If I speak, more often than not, it’s typically something sarcastic.) I think more not-so-nice things. I give a blank stare instead of responding.    

Photo via
It's no secret.

I have a little issue with communicating effectively when it comes to romantic relationships.

But I'm working on it. Baby steps, y'all. Baby steps.

And my blogging buddy, Amber (over on Talk to Amber) is giving me (and e'erbody else who needs it!) some tips and tricks on how to communicate.


She's kicking lots of knowledge in her post, Silence, Sarcasm, and Shutting Down, and one of the things that she's suggesting to do is to make small changes. When you feel yourself shutting down, say something to the other person along the lines of this:

"The direction this conversation is taking is making me ___________ (uncomfortable, upset, frustrated, overwhelmed, etc). I usually shut down when I’m feeling that way. Can we pause for a moment so I can collect my thoughts and get my words together?”

That's just one of the gems that Amber shares. Head over to her website to read the entire post and find out how to get on the path of communicating effectively. You deserve to be understood and effective communication is just the beginning. 

Baby Steps, y'all. Baby steps.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...