Fall 2017 Photo Journal

November 27, 2017

One reason why I find photography to be so inspiring is that one photo is able to tell 1000 stories, has the power to transport you to a faraway land or can give you ideas on how to go after something else you want in life. Although I definitely don’t have the skills to label myself as a professional photographer, there’s something special about capturing memories with the help of a camera or smartphone. Between visiting a harvest farm festival an hour outside of NYC, walking down the beautiful streets of West Village or just taking a moment to look up and appreciate the beautiful lights I’m constantly surrounded by, I’m so happy I decided to start documenting even the smallest things that bring me joy. I hope these photos bring you a little bit of joy too. If you create a fall photo journal, please send me the link! I’d love to get a glimpse of how you spent your fall! Until next time my dears. 

West Village- New York, New York 2017

Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard- Salem, New York 

Macys NYC, Washington Square Park
New York: Macy's, Washington Square Park, Farm

9 Budget-Friendly Boots Under $100 + A Personal Note

November 26, 2017

Chic Budget Friendly Shoes

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like using cold weather as an excuse to look drab. If anything, I think that men and women who step out on the town looking stylish in cold weather are rockstars. And guess what, we are rockstars too. So when the temperatures drop, I take it as a challenge to step up my shoe game (unless it’s snowing.. then all bets are off) to help me feel cheery during the brutal weather. 

I’ve rounded up 9 budget-friendly boots and booties that will keep you warm and looking like a chic badass through the end of fall and into winter. Whether you’re prepping for a fun night out, running errands, heading to a holiday party or want to look cute while hunting for the perfect gifts, these shoes will add to your fabulous adventures without overdrafting your bank account. Let me know what shoe is your favorite. Want to step it up a notch? DM me (via Instagram) photos of how you style shoes inspired by this post! I’d love to see how you guys pair them with winter and late-fall outfits! Oh, and the next section contains affiliate links. Feel free to shop or not shop! As long as you find some inspiration from the round-up, I've done my job! 

Oh, and to keep this post from being super shallow, I wanted to share a video created by Youtuber Isabel Palacious. This video focuses on how you can value yourself instead of letting other people define your value. I think this is something all humans struggle with, whether we are aware of it or not. 

When I watched this video this morning, Isabel linked burnout to being emotionally bankrupt but still pushing ourselves to do more than we should. And I was like damn... I've been doing this my entire freaking life. I've shoved my emotions aside and told myself if I just push myself to the extreme, I'll be successful and too busy to think about the things that are bothering me. Then those problems will just disappear because I've accomplished my goals. LOL; I was so wrong. 

We all know by now the importance of facing our issues. But mentally preparing ourselves to deal with the pain isn't so easy. I have made a conscious effort for most of 2017 to embrace my struggles and focus on helping others (one key way to feel more fulfilled and connected to the world), but too often, I still run the other way when emotional baggage pops up. But hey, progress is all about baby steps! So if you've been running on empty for a while or feel emotionally drained,  take one baby step today and watch this super relatable video. 

If you're ready to go deep in self-development; I've linked two of my favorite videos by my favorite gurus Gaby Bernstein, Tony Robbins They help millions of people create the lives of their dreams. P.S. These leaders are endorsed by Oprah, so you know they are top notch. I hope these videos help you find a little bit of peace and strength today. Feel free to email or DM anything that's on your mind! Let me know what's up! And until next time, stay fabulous! 

Tony Robbins: Creating an Extraordinary Quality of Life | SuperSoul Sessions | Oprah Winfrey Network

Weekly Reads: Thanksgiving Edition

November 23, 2017

photo: Photo by rawpixel.com
Happy Thanksgiving Day! I know today is Thanksgiving, but I decided to start celebrating Christmas this week. Hate if you want, but it's really, really hard to be in a grumpy mood if you're immersed in Christmas culture. I went full out Tuesday night. I listened to Christmas music on the way home from work, picked up a reindeer pen (he has one eye, but I still love him). As soon as I got home, I put on Christmas knee-high socks and watched a really cheesy, but seriously therapeutic, Netflix original Christmas movie. I'm slightly ashamed about this decision, but it was great! And I'm going to do the same freaking thing at least once a week. To continue this festive mood, I've rounded up a few things that caught my interest on the world wide web this week . So grab a glass of wine, spiked apple cider or hot chocolate, and take a breather before or after your food coma sets in. 

Food For the Soul: I've been binge watching Oprah's Super Soul Sunday episodes on Youtube this week, and they've been helping me push through a ton of funk. These episodes feature amazing leaders who specialize in wellness, activism, overcoming addiction and depression, pushing yourself to achieve the unthinkable and so much more. I really loved the Gary Zukav: The New Perception of Community with Oprah Winfrey episode. It was so different from what I expected, and it made me think about the soul and how we spend our time in this lifetime. It's almost an hour long, so if you have the time, I highly recommend it. Some of the Super Soul Sunday episodes are under 15 minutes, which is perfect if you're short on time. 

Smart Money Tip of the Week (Because you’re too good to be a broke bitch): Tis the season to get carried away and spend way more money than you actually have! But, here's an amazing guide to get all of us bak on track! 3 Key Strategies For How To Pay Off Your Credit Card Debt Faster. Yeah; we've totally got this! 

Tis the Season: Prep yourselves babydolls. Thanksgiving can be ... tiring. But here's a guide to help you deal with all those cringe-worthy moments. 15 Awkward Thanksgiving Interactions To Prep Yourself For.

Menu: Here are the top trendy foods for this holiday season. The more you know.

Weekend Fun: Animal Crossing is finally available on our smart phones. This is the best and worst thing to happen to me because this was my all-time favorite GameCube game back in the day. I was borderline addicted, and I have a feeling I'll be obsessed with it again as soon as I download it. That's not going to stop me from playing the game, but I'm accepting that this might be an issue down the road.

Shop Til You Drop! - Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales:

  • Topshop - 50% off + free shipping 11/22-11/27
  • Revolve - Up to 50 % off sale items!
  • Macys - 20% off with the code HURRY 11/22-11/25
  • Shopbop - Up to 75% off sale items and 30% off full-priced items with the code MORE

Currently Loving:... Guys, Target has silver jingle bell napkin rings and Pottery Barn has them in gold. I might die if I don't get my hands on these!! I need them. Think about how beautiful your table setting could be with these beauties! I really want to host a holiday brunch or dinner this year, and the last thing I want is to throw a basic af party. Therefore, I need these. Case closed. I'm hitting up Target and Pottery Barn next week and going hard in the holiday decor section.

Quotes To Live By: “No one truly interesting was ever universally liked’ - Carl from Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce.

Happy Turkey Day!


3 Chic Last Minute Thanksgiving Outfits

November 19, 2017

So… Thanksgiving is next week. This holiday season snuck up on me, and if you’re anything like me, you haven’t had the time or the energy to put thought into your Thanksgiving outfit. Lucky for us, we live in the 21st century, and it doesn’t matter if we put shopping off until the last minute (thanks Amazon Prime and 2-day express shipping). So I’ve rounded up three outfit ideas for this Thanksgiving that range between glam and casual. Either way, you’re sure to look cute this year, even if you’re on a budget. Plus, I bet you can find similar items right in your closet. Happy Turkey Day!

Dear Diary: Cultivating Confidence and Self-Esteem Is A Never-Ending Process

November 15, 2017

Shop the Look: This section includes affiliate links. 
I randomly found all of these items while thrift shopping or during sales, so I encourage you to go scavenger hunting this weekend. But if you don't have time to shop IRL, here are some similar pieces you can buy on the world wide web. 

I wanted to share another more personal post today, but I also wanted to share a cute look. So I’m doing both in this post, frankly because I feel like it. So whether you relate to this post, find inspiration in the outfit, or get a laugh because you think I’m a sad little peasant, I hope you walk away feeling a little bit better today. :) 

*Oh, and there is some cursing in this post, so if  you're offended by foul language, this isn't the post for you. 

I’m proud to admit that I’ve always been pretty ambitious, and I’ve been blessed enough to be surrounded by hard-working, ambitious, talented people who inspired me and cheered for my success. Now that I’m 1.5 years out of college, my ambition is still there, but my strong sense of confidence and self esteem is not. What can I say? I’m not strong 100% of the time like most of my friends think. 

I went from having a large community of cheerleaders physically around me 24/7 to just having myself as a cheerleader. Anyone who moves to a new city alone after college goes through the same thing. It’s a brave and exciting adventure, but it’s also terrifying to no longer be in your tight-knit community. In the real world, you’re thoughts of self-doubt are louder than ever before. 

And let me tell you, I can say some pretty nasty things to myself. If anything, my inner voice is like a cheerleader from hell straight out of a 90's movie who’s sole purpose is to try to destroy my self worth and convince me that I’ll never have what I want, so...why bother.

But then I have to take a step back and remind myself that: 

A) Telling myself these negative, false beliefs in a FUCKING WASTE OF TIME! I’m literally wasting precious energy on thoughts that don’t serve me or move me towards my goals. That’s not ok because (here comes the cliche but damn true saying) where intention goes, energy flows! Asnd here’s the real key. Are you ready? That nasty voice will always be there in the back of our heads telling us to give up. Telling us to play it safe. Telling us we can’t accomplish this goal. We have to accept that the voice will never go away, but we don’t have to listen to it. I named my mean girl voice Regina, and I tell her to shut up when she starts trying to break me down. 

B) Instead of shutting down and cocooning myself in bed (which I admit I’ve been doing a lot lately) I should grab a pen and paper and figure out why I feel so overwhelmed. Even if you’re not a writer, I seriously advise doing this. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Purging the stress out is the best way to work through it. Want to avoid a hand cramp? Record yourself talking through it. I know there’s a lot of controversy around Joel olsteen, but homeboy gives some great advice. He once said that the same problems will keep showing up in your life until you confront and overcome them. Once those problems are literally staring you in the face, written in your journal, you’re more inclined to make those problems your little bitch. 

C.) If I want to cultivate confidence and self-esteem, I have to take action! I’m not just going to wake up one day and feel like I’m killing the game if I don’t take small actions that will get me closer to the life I want to live. And please notice that I said SMALL. Sometimes I get a little bit list-happy and write down every single thing I need to do to accomplish a goal. I did that for my blogging/digital content creator career and you know what happened/still happens from time to time? I looked at that multiple-page list, and I shut the fuck down because it’s so overwhelming. Isn’t that ironic that how making lists in one aspect can free me and in another aspect, it makes me feel hopeless? After learning this lesson time and time again (aka me curled up in bed, ugly crying and too overwhelmed to get out of bed to even eat, let alone leave the house that day) I realized that I need to limit myself to setting small goals each day, regardless of how much I want to create an elaborate action plan. 

D) And finally, I remind myself to ask for help! I reach out to my best friends who remind me that, number one, I can have everything I want if I get out of my own damn way. And number two, no matter what I accomplish, they will still love and cherish me. I have nothing to prove. And neither do you. I went to the amazing Girl Boss Rally this weekend, and one of my favorite speakers pointed out that we are already enough. We don’t have to prove anything to the world, and we have a purpose just by existing. What a lovely reminder that you’re already a rockstar and should chill when it comes to beating yourself up, right? 

Confidence isn’t built in a day; it’s an ongoing project. I hope that this post encourages you to love yourself a little bit more and forgive yourself for not being perfect. Coming from a recovering perfectionist, it’s a good thing that we aren’t perfect. Perfect is fucking boring! I still struggle with trying to be perfect, but I’m getting better at letting go of the “perfect me, perfect life” mentality that I've held on to since elementary school. You will too if you take the time out each week to remind yourself that you’re a badass for going after what you want, no matter what it is. The struggles are just part of the process, honey. 

Need more words of encouragement? I’ve linked some of my favorite self-esteem boosters below. 

November Luxe List

November 10, 2017

Fall Fashion Guide

If there's one thing I've learned from working hard, it's that you need to reward yourself for reaching those insane goals. Whether you're on a new journey to get fit, are trying to pass all your finals, want to get that promotion or have a passion project that you want to turn into full-time career, selecting rewards for yourself can add a serious level of motivation and new-found energy to your grind. As I mentioned before, I'm working on a few goals right now, and all of them require so much freaking energy, so I create wish lists for myself each month.

These are a few things I've been craving, and I'm going to treat myself. Maybe not all at once, but slowly and surely, I'll get my hands on this mix of luxury and budget-friendly gifts for myself.  I hope you find a reason to celebrate and treat yourself too. Oh, and the links below are #affiliated, so if you shop from here, I get a small commission. Thanks for reading, and if you decide to, thanks for shopping and supporting my blog!! Now I want to hear from you! What's on your 'treat yo self' list this month? Leave a comment below!

Until next time my loves!

November Mood Board 2017: Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude

November 8, 2017

Oh November, you snuck up on us. The air is so crisp and chilly now. In my opinion, Fall is seriously enchanting. There’s a special magic in the air, and I want to spend this month appreciating is. So surprise! This months mood is all about practicing gratitude ( I know, super original) but it’s time for us to let go of the mistakes, pain and fumbles from this year and embrace this season of love, appreciation and celebrations. And here are three simple ways you can practice gratitude in 5 minutes. 

1. Write Down Three Things You're Grateful For Each Morning

And I don't mean just list them out. If you want to truly benefit from this exercise, try writing a full sentence about WHY you're grateful for these three things in your life. That was, you reflect on them longer and tie more meaning to your list. 

2. Acts Of Kindness 

I know this isn't revolutionary advice, but most people forget how much impact they have on other people. Put down your smartphone while you're walking. Hold the freaking door open for someone, look then in the eye and smile. I'm telling you, that if we stop ignoring everyone around us, we will feel so much more connected to the world. There are so many ways to give back in our communities; there's a perfect fit for everyone. 

3. List Three Things You Did Well Today 

It can literally be as simple as, "I picked up the clothes on my bedroom floor." You deserve to celebrate every single thing you do well. I struggle with beating myself up (I essentially bully myself), so I'm trying to be better about reminding myself of how far I've come and how success is built on small victories, not one large triumph. Reminding myself of my past mistakes isn't helpful and is a waste of energy. All we can do is learn from the past and keep on trucking in the right direction. 

But before I end this post, I want to take a moment to honor the 26 people who lost their lives this weekend due to the mental health and gun control crisis our country a facing. I’m calling it a crisis because so many lives have been lost in senseless violence. Regardless of your stance on the two issues, here is how to help the families that suffered in this tragedy. 

 Even $5 goes a long way and lets these families know that we are here to support them. 

This family lost 10 members in the Church shooting 

This GoFund me has been highlighted by CBS as a trustworthy GoFund Me account for the Church. There is a PayPal portal on the Church's website, but it has been difficult for anyone to make payments due to high traffic. I think it's disgusting that there are people creating scams and trying to benefit off of this tragedy , but at least you know your money is going to help a community if you donate to this account. 

I hope you guys have a lovely Wednesday. I'm so grateful that I get to see another day, and I'm trying to focus on choosing joy and gratitude regardless of the awful shit that pops up in my life. I hope you do too. Be blessed, and thanks for reading! 


Weekly Brief No. 4: Sunday Reads

November 5, 2017

Cheers to another weekend that's come and gone too quickly. It feels weird that Christmas is basically here. On one hand, there's so much to be excited for, but on the other hand, I feel like I keep forgetting to savor every day. But hey, I'm working on it. Sundays are all about rejuvenation, so I hope my finds below help you rest and relax before another crazy Monday arrives. At least we all gained an extra hour of sleep thanks to daylight savings! So grab a glass of wine and get cozy. I hope you're evening is charming and restorative.

Wine and Dine: Um... get the app Seated RIGHT NOW! My friend John told me about it, and I'm so psyched to use it. If you live in or near a major city such as NYC, LA, ATL, etc, you can use this app to make reservations at restaurants, and you get a gift card to Amazon or Uber credit after your meal!

Beauty Book: Kylie Cosmetics are going to be available in 7 TopShops from Nov. 20 - Dec. 20!! If you live in or near NYC, ATL, LA, Las Vegas, Chicago, Miami or Houston, run thee to thy nearest TopShop! I'm excited to be able to test out these products. I'm not a fan of buying makeup online before I know how it looks on me.

Shop til you Drop: Here are some great sales this week
  • Aerie: Up to 50% off sales styles.  
  • Asos: Up to 60% off select styles.
  • Boohoo: 50% off entire purchase and free shipping.
  • Express: Extra 40% off sale items.
  • Talbots: 30% off entire purchase with code FRIENDS30
  • Rebecca Minkoff: Up to 75% off select styles.
  • The RealReal: 20% off with code REAL.
  • Topshop: Up to 50% off all sale items.

Emotional Pick-Me-Up: I don’t want to hide the truth from you guys; I’be been really upset and stressed out for the past 2 weeks, for various reasons. In an effort not to sound like a whiny bitch, I'll spare you the details. Whenever I feel super down, I jump on Google and search for coping mechanisms. There's something in me that compels me to search for a solution... always. During this Goggle session, I stumbled across this article: You’ll Be Happier If You Let Yourself Feel Bad By Cody Delistraty. It was a great reminder of what my favorite person ever (aka Marie Forleo) always says, "make isness your business and stop resisting!" I’m hoping that the more I practice embracing my feelings and not judging myself for being upset, the stronger I’ll become. 

Wanderlust: Wanna feel like you’re in Europe without the hefty flight price? Here are 5 U.S. cities that look like they belong in Europe.

Currently Loving: The freaking adorable beret trend. I don’t GAF if it’s basic.

Decor I Adore: Um… Ikea’s latest holiday collection has some amazing pieces!

Smart Money Tip of the Week (Because you’re too good to be a broke bitch): I am soooo doing this zero-dollar spend day challenge! I plan to start setting one day a week aside for this. Hopefully I’ll get to multiple days a week soon. Think about the savings! 

Until next time loves!

Late Fall Bucket List: 7 Things You Should Do To Enjoy The Rest Of Fall

November 2, 2017

I know I mention this in every post, but I'm still in shock about how fast this year is flying by. Last year felt like it dragged on forever, so I'm surprised that this year went by in the blink of an eye. People... it's basically Christmas, and I am so not ready. I still have a long list of fun ish to do this fall season! And I bet you do too because you're a boss ass bitch who makes an effort to enjoy life to its fullest. If you haven't had a moment to sit down and think about what activities you want to do, I hope my list of simple and adventurous things provides some type of inspiration.

Honestly, this is just a small part of everything I want to do. I keep a running list on my computer, phone and in my journals. That being said, there's always room for more things on my list. I'd love to hear from you in the comments section! What are you excited to check off your list this season? What have you already checked off? I'm excited to hear all about it! Lots of love!

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