Weekly Finds 3.28.18

March 28, 2018

This post went up a little late. I wanted to post it Saturday, but I kept holding myself back from publishing it. I felt like it wasn't good enough but now I'm home sick... trying to get some sleep and failing hardcaore at passing out thanks to #anxiety. So I figured I might as well get over my fear and post this bad boy right now. Regardless of the publication date, I hope this post brings you joy, laughter or inspires you to make a change this week. And if one of the links I share sparks a conversation, please feel free to leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts! Afterall, I created this blog to talk with (not to) you guys and share ideas with you guys. Lot’s of love!

Emotional Pickme Up: I don’t know about you guys, but seeing how children and teenagers have come together to make our country a safer place is incredible and inspiring. I will never underestimate children again. The generation growing up right now has access to more knowledge than ever before thanks to the internet, and these kids are driven. I am so confident that our country is going to be stronger than ever with these young leaders. Here’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 11-year old daughter giving a speech at the March For Our Lives rally. I hope this sweet, smart young girl fills you with as much hope as she did for me.  Even if you don’t agree with her message, I think we can all agree that when the youth use their voices to fight against violence, it’s inspiring to see how much courage and passion they have.

Current Events: I’m sure you all saw the video of the young, black male who was executed in his grandparents' backyard. This is another tragic incident that shows how much our country still needs to heal. We are living in a crazy time and everyone is scared. I’m angry that two police officers were so quick to pull the trigger and end a 22 year olds life (even if he was stealing out of cars, he didn’t deserve to die), but I believe that this sad incident will lead to an enhanced training system for police that will help prevent more events like this from happening in the future.  

How to Help: If you do anything today, please take time to watch or listen to this video about fighting global poverty. Leila Janah is creating innovative and creative ways to eliminate poverty by valuing every human life and helping others land jobs instead of just donating money. There’s just so many groundbreaking ideas in this video. I hope you make time to watch it.

Love Actually: I loved this article about spring cleaning your relationship because I’ve never applied Spring Cleaning to anything other than my home.

Menu: I love learning what other people eat during the day to stay fit, and this fitness guru’s diet is amazing! She eats three of my favorite things: eggs, vegan mac n cheese and pasta. She also doesn’t believe in cutting out desserts from your life.

Currently Loving: I've been so obsessed with polka dots lately! I'll share some of my favorite, affordable polkadot finds here on the blog next week. Are there any spring trends you've been obsessed with lately? 

Wanderlust: Here are healthy ways to cure jetlag… I am sold.

More magical travel destinations to make you feel like you’re on another planet

Live Well: According to this article, you can burn a ton of calories through the act of “passive heating” while taking a bath… but the water has to be 104 degrees fahrenheit, so idk if I’m strong enough to handle that yet.

I gave up sweets for lent this year, so this article about cutting back on sugar is the lifesaver I need this week! I was beginning to crack.

Gotta Get My Mind Right: I feel like we all need to read this article about overcoming jealousy with social media constantly leading to major FOMO

Weekly Highs: My boyfriend moved into a really, really nice airbnb in Williamsburg while he waits for his new lease to begin in April or May. So naturally, I mooched and have been staying with him for majority of the week and am spending the weekend there for his birthday. Oddly, staying here has motivated me to work harder because I want to be able to afford a place like this in NYC before I’m 30. It’s been so incredible because I’m basically having a staycation. I’ve been needing a little retreat, and I’ve been needing it badly.

Weekly Lows: So… I did something stupid. I binge watched all 50+ episodes of Buzzfeed Unsolved Mysteries series. The series is sooooo good, but I’ve also been soooo paranoid because every episode dives into a real event. I’m talking murders, serial killers, haunted places and demonic sightings. I’ve been a little freaked out this entire week. But hey, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger… see what I did there lol.

Swimsuits for Busty Women + Swimsuit Season Confidence Boosters

March 21, 2018

Monday’s post was all about taking healthy steps to increase our mental wellness. Today we’re diving into another  scary topic ... swim suit season. Ah! This season has given me anxiety since I was 12. 

We can put a ton of pressure on ourselves to look perfect in a bikini... but society forgot to tell us that perfection is a myth. And we should stop striving for it. As long as our bodies are strong and healthy, we should be happy... but the logical side of our brains and the emotional side don’t always align. But this year, I want to feel good in a swimsuit. I want you to feel good in a swimsuit, and we can feel confident with the tricks below. 

My toolkit for feeling confident in a bikini 

1.) The 7 Day Slimdown with Tone It Up. I’ve done this and it actually works. It requires a lot of meal prepping and it’s a bit on the pricier side if you don’t already have the food required for the slimdown. But if you want to reduce bloating, this program works! The slimdown I use is part of a paid program I bought years ago (it's a lifetime nutrition and fitness plan membership), but here's a free slimdown plan to follow from Shape.com. Curves are beautiful,  so if you don't like the idea of doing a slimdown (the one I follow is based on real food not scam juice cleanses) skip this step. But I personally feel more confident when I'm not bloated, that's why this is such a great trick I use for my body. 

2.) Listen to a body positive message before walking out the door. Pep talks have a really strong affect on me. Here are two Ted Talks that focus on body positivity; you can't help but feel better about your amazing body after listening.  

Ending the pursuit of perfection | Iskra Lawrence

3.) Buy supportive bathing suits. This last tip is necessary for me to feel confident. I have a pretty big chest, so I need bathing suits that will help me feel supported all day long. That’s why I tend to exclusively buy my one pieces or bikini tops from Asos.com. They have a busty and curvy line with hundreds of options at affordable prices! Plus, a lot of the options have underwire... aka my best friend because I want the girls to look perky all day long. Here are some cute options below. 

P.S. I get a small commission off the items below, so if you decide to shop from this post, I really appreciate your support! As always, thanks for taking time to read my blog and have a happy spring! 

How to Keep Going When You Feel Hopeless

March 19, 2018

Photo by Jacob Repko 

So today’s post is a tab bit intense. I went back and forth deciding if I should share this with you guys. I definitely want my site to be a source of positivity and value for you guys, but life can lead to some dark times, and I don’t think that sharing my favorite pair of shoes with you guys is always the best way to help any of us cope with life’s intense/stressful moments. So here’s a secret that only a few of my closest friends know about me… sometimes I feel extremely hopeless about life and wish I could just numb the pain/stop feeling anything all together. I went through another one of these episodes at the end of February and just climbed out of it last week. I know what you’re probably thinking. “Nia, you’re pathetic and need to see a doctor. Why are you sharing so much on the internet?” Well, I believe we all need to see doctors to take care of our physical and mental health, but pretending like I have my shit together 100% of the time is selfish. Today’s post definitely isn’t for everyone, but for anyone who’s ever felt alone and hopeless, I hope they find this post and realize that they are very far from alone.

Before I dive any deeper; I want to clarify that I know how blessed and privileged I am to have a job, people who love me and to live in America. I really try not to take anything in my life for granted… and the fact that I practice verbal gratitude exercises and still feel hopeless from time to time is proof that not all personal issues are black and white. This might sound crazy, but part of me is really grateful for the dark seasons I’ve had. They are signs from my body and God that THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG AND I NEED TO MAKE CHANGES. When we hit these low points, this is the universe/God giving us a chance to push through the pain, fight for what we want, be responsible by taking care of our mind and body and become stronger.  

And trust me, I know it’s really fucking hard to fight when you feel like there’s no point to it, you’ll never reach your goals or you’re not good enough. When my dad was in a vegetative state my junior year of college, I barely fucking remember that time because I got so fucking drunk all the time. I made bad decisions all the fucking time. I tried to push so many people away from me (but luckily I have the best friends in the world and they knew that my borderline psychotic behavior was my way of saying I freaking need your help right now). It wasn’t healthy. And then, when I moved to NYC and was hit in the face with another season of feeling hopeless and wanting to just feel numb… I did the same damn thing because well, old habits die hard.

 Checking out and partying, numbing the pain with drugs or possibly even hurting yourself can seem like the easier thing to do… because then you won’t have to feel anything. But we all know that those are just ways to hide instead of being strong (which btw, you’re way stronger than you give yourself credit for).

So today I’m sharing three ways I crawl out of those scary, dark places and reset my perspective to appreciate life, believe in myself and fight for my heart’s desires. And the best part about fighting for the life you want is that you NEVER have to do it alone. I know I sure as hell am not. Even if you just get in minor funks from time to time, I hope this post helps you move through and process those funks faster. You’re too amazing to dwell in a “sunken place” for too long. There are so many amazing experiences for us to have in this lifetime, and we deserve to have so much more than we give ourselves permission to have.

My Three Tips to Keep Going When You Feel Hopeless

1.) Watch an inspiring video. It is soooo refreshing to hear from other people who have overcome crazy amounts of challenges. They are proof that the hard times and the pain pay off. We just have to master the tools to turn the rough times into our fuel, and that’s exactly what Marie, Tom and Lisa do! Trust me; just watch one of the videos below and you’ll feel like more of the badass you are.

Tony Robbins & Marie Forleo: What It Takes To Have an Extraordinary Life (I've watched this video a minimum of 4 times)

Why You Need to Empower Yourself | Impact Quotes (You need to watch this asap if you've been having a pity party)

How To Turn Your Fear Into Fuel | Lisa Nichols (literally watch this before you go to sleep tonight)

2.) Do a short positive affirmation/prayer session. I’ll be the first to admit that giving yourself a verbal pep talk feels weird… and that’s the fucking issue. I’m so pissed that we (especially women) have been conditioned to belittle ourselves instead of celebrating and cheering ourselves on. So stop what you’re doing and say the below out loud, three times, right now!

I am a beautiful, smart, kind, creative badass
I deserve and will have everything I want in life
I cherish and respect myself and everyone around me

3. Jot down every issue/obstacle on your mind right now and come up with 1-3 solutions for each. I get in funks a lot. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing either. I look at a funk as my body’s way of telling me that I need to change my tactics if I want to see results. A funk is only bad if you use it as an excuse to quit.

At the root of all my funks are my feelings of inadequacy and a lack of confidence. When I admit this and take time to care for myself, I always come back stronger, and I hope you do too. So if you’re in a funk or feel like “checking out” take it as a sign that you might want more out of life. And guess what, you can have more... if you put in a lot of hard ass work and work hard consistently.

What do you guys do to get out of a funk or to feel hopeful again? I’d love to hear what has and hasn’t worked for you. Until next time my dear, and remember, you've totally got this.

March Mood Board & Spring Bucket List

March 12, 2018

The countdown to spring in NYC has begun! I fully expect to be able to wear mini skirts without tights and walk along the water while eating shaved ice cream in a few weeks. So what better way to trick my mind into thinking it's warm than by making a spring mood board and bucket list? If you're someplace warm right now, I hope this post gives you some fun ideas to help you make the most of your sunny days. And if you're facing a snowstorm in the Northeast, winter will be over sooner than we think, so let's use this downtime to plan for an incredible spring/summer filled with amazing, new experiences! 

And thank you for taking a minute to read my post; I'm seriously so grateful. 

  • High tea in a beautiful garden. 
  • Have a prosecco and PJs glam brunch party 
  • Go to an art show 
  • Visit the Met Cloisters 
  • Go to a new food festival 
  • Go on a hike at wave hill
  • Go to Beat the Bomb! This is an interactive mystery room challenges and if you don't disable the bomb in time, you get splattered with paint http://beatthebomb.com/ 
  • Try out one of these NYC rooftop pools 
  • Go on at least 3 long weekend getaways
  • Have a mini-golf contest… where you have to take a shot every time you miss (which will also be followed by a glass of water because of #responsibility 
  • Go to a resort & spa for the weekend 

  • Weekly Finds 3.04.18

    March 4, 2018

    Happy Sunday friends! I am so excited that it's march because that means we are getting closer to warm weather. It's still a bit chilly hear in the NYC area, but I know sunshine is right around the corner. I've rounded up a few of my weekly finds below. I hope you enjoy them. I've also started including my weekly highs and lows in this series. Why? Because we all know how fake social media can seem at times. I never want someone to look at my life and think it's perfect... it's far from it. When you guys read my blog and take in my different forms of content, I want you all to feel encouraged and like we're in tis game of life together. There's room for all of us to win at life and be happy, so why not win together? In my opinion, that sounds like way more fun that doing this journey alone. So I hope you take a momen't this morning to grab tea, coffee or a mimosa (I'll be having a few this afternoon) and take a load off. 
    Smart Money Tip of the Week (Because you’re too good to be a broke bitch): If you’re stressed about paying off student loans, read this. You’re really not alone.  

    Shop 'Til You Drop!! Here are some cute, affordable pieces that I've had my eye on this weekend. Just fyi, this section includes affiliate links, but I’ll love you whether you shop the links below or not. 

    Give Back: Andrea Pion aka A Slice o Pi is collecting evening and prom gowns to donate to women who can’t afford them. I think this is such a great idea. I remember how expensive prom and formal dresses for my sorority events were, and every gal deserves to feel beautiful on those special days, reguardless of their family's budget. Check out Andrea's instagram if you want to get involved or donate a dress! Plus, her photos are really freaking inspiring, so you should check her out even if you don't have something to donate.

    Wanderlust: Here are a few photos of amazing places that are inspiring me to travel. It’s honestly all I can think about at the moment. 
    Photos by James Connolly, Jeremy Avery, Johan Mouchet
    Grooving To: I’ve been a little obsessed with Tinashe this week. I’ve loved her music for a few years, but I’ve been listening to Faded Love, All Hands On Deck and Cold Sweat on repeat. 

    Quiz Time: Eat Your Way Through Europe And We'll Reveal Your Dream City by Buzzfeed

    This Week’s Highs: Pushing myself at the gym. I went to an Ass and Abs class and then a pole dancing class immediately after on Tuesday. Guys, forcing myself to go was one of the hardest things I’ve done in a while. I just wanted to go home, eat pizza and watch How to Get Away with Murder, but I kept telling myself that my feelings didn’t mean shit. There was no excuse for me to not get my ass to the gym. I really want a more toned body, and the only way that will happen is through hard work. Y'all… I was on a high after the gym. I pushed myself in both classes, got some new pole bruises, and felt more confident than I have in a while. Sometime the best way to get through a funk is to just push through it.

    This Week’s Lows: Missing my aunt’s funeral. I was planning to go but there was a crazy storm on the east coast that resulted in a bunch of Amtrak cancellations on Friday and Saturday. I was going to take the train down to D.C., but mother nature had a much different plan. I wasn’t very close to my aunt who passed, but I certainly wanted to attend the ceremony to support my mom and her other siblings. All I can say is thank the lord for technology such as FaceTime. Even though I can’t be with my family in person, at least we can still see each other’s faces. And my aunt’s death was an intense reminder of how we should not spend our days in situations that make us miserable. We only get one chance at life, so if you’re in a relationship, career or major that you hate, figure out a way to pivot and do something that you love that also pays the bills. It might take a while, but we’ll get there sooner than we think!

    Monthly Challenge: Stepping up my digital content game. I really really enjoy writing, styling, editing, shooting and communicating. This blog gives me energy, and I’m ready to commit more time to it. If I have to wake up at 5:30 am Monday through Friday to get some work done before I head into the office, so be it. I want this… like a lot, and I hope you find something that you love and drives you too.

    Thanks for taking a moment of your day to read this post. Now go out there and have an amazing day! You deserve it.

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