Monthly Muses: January

January 27, 2020

Photo by Jason Leung

Although I'm a tad bit sad to say goodbye to my birthday month, I am ready to see what else 2020 has in store. I really thought I knew what I wanted out of life, but this month has helped reveal to me new priorities in my life. I will always be an ambitious woman, but with each week that passes, I value slowing down more and more. I want to cook with friends and loved ones more. I want to enjoy a bottle of wine with a special someone and engage in stimulating conversation. I want to spend 30 extra minutes in the morning putting on a cute outfit and doing my hair and makeup. I want to go on looooong walks in the park or go on a hike.

I LOVE the energy in NYC, but I also need rest and slow living to balance out the hustle and grind. Life is full of so many incredible moments and we can cultivate incredible relationships if we take the time to do so... that's what I want to focus on this year. As more and more of my cherished friends move away from NYC, I'm really starting to cherish the simpler moments with them. I never would have expected the 26-year old version of me to value slowing down so much - but I know I need both mindful living and constant growth/development to feel fulfilled. Now I'm just hoping to continue to grow my community and attract like-minded people into my life.

As you can imagine, the things I've been gravitating towards this month reflect my slow-living focus shift. So below are a few things that have been putting a smile on my face during this abundant, yet insanely stressful month.

Netflix & Chilling - just to escape for an hour... or three
Money Heist
The Morning Show (Apple TV)
Schitt's Creek

Devin Brugman's Low Carb Diet IG Stories Highlight
Devin is one of my favorite content creators/ entrepreneurs. She is the co-founder of a luxury swimwear line that provided amazing options for bustier women... aka me. And she shared the most delicious meal ideas for anyone who thrives on a low-carb diet... also me. I am excited to get back to this lifestyle. I loved going low-carb last year. But tbh, I didn't make enough money to sustain it and I was lazy to cook that much. But now that I have a higher income and actually want to dedicate time to cooking,  I plan to make her dishes on repeat

I truly have too much freaking stuff. It's a real problem, so I've been researching like crazy to come up with a storage system for my tiny ass room. I constantly get rid of things that I no longer want/ don't inspire me. But when you have a small bedroom and share an apartment with roommates, there comes a time where the issue is the size of the space and not the number of things you own. I love organizing and I love the container store, but I'm not trying to spend a lot of money on this project. I know there has to be a creative solution, and I'mma find it.

I think I like Pinterest more than Instagram TBH. It is just so easy to find an infinite amount of inspiration and helpful info.

Cute Winter Boots/Snow Boots
I am so sick of feeling like an ugly potato every day at work wearing jeans or leggings with my sneakers. I need a pair of comfortable, durable and warm, flat OTK boots that are weather-resistant and affordable. I also need to invest in a quality pair of snow boots that I won't be depressed to wear. Thank the lord for DSW. I'll be purchasing these two items ASAP.

Feathers and Oranza Elements
I love the retro glamour that these two features add to any element. Adding a little extra something to my outfit always puts a smile on my face.  And Boohoo always has fun pieces at a super low price, so I don't have to be irresponsible to enjoy this trend (currently the entire site is 50% off so the prices are even cheaper than what's reflected in my picks below).

Thanks so much for taking a minute to read this post! What's been inspiring you this month?

Little Luxuries: Making the Most out of Boring Routines

January 25, 2020

Photo by Mgg Vitchakorn 

As I grow older,  I continue to realize how temporary "the bad times" are. Last week, I was not in a very healthy mental space... like at all. But as I sit on this pink, faux suede couch, on the second floor of a new workspace,  waiting for my sneakers to dry from the intense rainstorm, I am in awe at how blissful I am. And to be honest, nothing extraordinary has happened today. I spent all of Friday night alone (which I know I needed in order to reset), woke up early this morning and then headed into the city for dance class and to get some work done. After I leave this office, I'm walking to East Village to cook dinner with two friends and relax. 

At first glance, this summary sounds boring as fuck. I totally admit that, but when you add little luxuries into your routine, the mundane can quickly transform into pure joy. Here are a few things I did to make the past 48 hours more luxurious. 

1. Ordered my favorite meal: On Fridays, I usually head to a dance class after work, but I was feeling particularly run down this week after battling a cold. I knew I needed to spend the night in bed if I wanted to recover faster. So I ordered my favorite meal from my go-to bbq place (Hamilton Pork) and picked it up on my way home from work (I felt less guilty spending money since I avoided delivery fees). Then I started Money Heist on Netflix. Kendra recommended it to me because she knew how much I loved Elite (pretty sure it's the same writers and most of the cast is the same). It was honestly really fun to spend the night relaxing, alone and getting sucked into a new show. 

2. Listened to a great podcast: I wanted to tidy up the kitchen and my bedroom a little bit before heading into the city... but chores are boring af. Thank the lord for podcasts! I love consuming knowledge while also being productive. Very few things make me feel as accomplished and put together. I listened to The Skinny Confidential this morning because it's a pretty balanced podcast and does a great job of providing comical, inspirational, informational and aspirational value. I highly recommend!! 

3. Treated myself to a nice face masque: My skin if freaking the fuck out and I'm thinking it's because of my crappy diet. So I slathered my Jet Lag Summer Fridays Masque on after my dance class. I know it's probably in my head, but I swear that I instantly felt like I could conquer the world. 

4. Took myself out to a healthy lunch: Dig In isn't my favorite, but it did leave me feeling pretty great. I love all of their sides, but my salmon was a tad bit too salty. Regardless, I've missed eating cleaner. Sometimes I forget how incredible healthy food is. I've missed having the energy that comes with clean(ish) eating. 

5. Invested in myself (aka bought a Wing membership): This blogging platform is just one of the many things I have going on outside of my fashion PR job. I have big dreams and feel sooo freaking inspired working in this safe, beautiful and perfectly curated space. Whether I'm planning my next vacation, writing a blog post or mapping out my financial goals, I know I will be 100000% more productive here than in my apartment or at a coffee shop. I'm so excited to start attending the incredible events this company offers as well. I know I probably sound like a broken record by now, but if you have a specific vision for your life, it won't just magically happen on its own. We have to work to create it (while also remembering to rest when we need it). And I know working in an inspiring environment like The Wing will help me do so.  

I hope you find a few small ways to make your next low-key weekend special. Whether you treat yourself to a new outfit or just make tea and light a candle while you drink it, luxury is in the eye of the beholder. Wishing you lots of love and happiness today and every day. And thanks again for reading this post. Your support means so much to me. Until next time friend. 

Sunday Reading: 1.12.20

January 12, 2020

Photo by Alisa Anton 

I love the energy that accompanies the beginning of a new year. The first fill week back at work was Uber busy and my work and social life seem to be gaining full speed ahead. January has already been filled with amazing blessings. Between getting a promotion at work, booking a yacht week trip in Greece, planning for my birthday party this month, taking on more dance classes and creating a financial plan to meet my goals, it’s been a busy freaking week! So I’m taking this Sunday to rest and restore before I show up 110% on Monday. A little bit of cleaning, running errands for my party, prepping my lunch for Monday, reading some poetry and starting The Morning Show on Apple TV is how I’ve spent the day and contrive to spend the rest of the evening. With all the goals I’ve set for myself for the next few months, year and decade, I could already feel myself forgetting to take time to rest and spend some quality alone time with myself.  How are you spending your Sunday? I hope you are starting to discover a Sunday ritual that helps you feel peaceful and prepared to kick ass for the upcoming week. And I hope you enjoy the things I found around the web this week. Thank you for always supporting me and for stopping by this site. It means the world to me. Sending you lots of love! 

I’m already bathing suit shopping for my next vacation! It can be pretty challenging to find supportive, cute and affordable bathing suits if you have a large chest like me. But Asos ALWAYS pulls through for me! They have a “fuller bust” swimsuit section that I’ve exclusively worn for the past 5 years. Here are a few of the pieces I’m loving right now! Gonna at to cart ASAP haha. Also, Asos is having a major sale on a lot of swimsuits so this seems to be a key time to buy! P.S. The below are affiliate links!  

Speaking of finally booking my group trip to Greece via yacht week, I figured I’d share the website if anyone is interested in going or wants to start planning and saving for the rest of the week. 

Live Well: Stay healthy this winter with these Ayurvedic secrets 

I went to dollar tree in jersey city today because I wanted to save some money on a few party supplies and guys, there’s so much good stuff there if we just get creative. 

Relationships can be hard and sometimes they suck. I thought these 3 articles were very great reminders for all of us to keep top of mind no matter our relationship status 

Oh Trader Joe’s, I don’t know what I would do if you weren’t in my life!!  So excited to check out the items on this clean shopping list!!!

I’m certainly trying to make my home a “happy place” this year, and apparently so are most people. 2020 might just be the year of home-care instead of self-care 

I'm real into emerald green velvet furniture right now. I have my eye on these chairs.

I really, really, really want to get more into entertaining this year and celebrating the small milestones. I did not do that nearly enough in 2019. But I also want to entertain on a budget, so I'll be saving this resource.

The Financial Diet: 6 Weekly Rituals That Have Completely Changed My Life - I really liked this practical advice. Sometimes you just need to hear this from another person to motivate yourself to do the same. 

NSFW: I think this is pretty amusing. Honestly, I'm not judging people who make money via foot photos At ALL! Get yo money.  

Three Things I'm significantly cutting back on/ eliminating from my lifestyle: 
I'm sooooo sick of looking through my bank account and feeling sick about all the money I wasted. I'm pretty mad at myself for all the money I wasted Saturday night, but all I can do is learn from the painful experience. My social life is about to totally change lol. 
  1. Ubers/Lyfts - I just don't need to waste so much money on these. I spend at least $1K on ubers last year and I wish this were an exaggeration, but it's not. Public transportation, here I come haha. 
  2. Overpriced drinks at bars and restaurants? Please tell me WHY I dropped $55 on 2 drinks and a glass of ginger ale at a dumb ass rooftop this weekend? I'm honestly mad at myself for giving in to peer pressure and spending money I knew I didn't really want to spend. Oy- if I don't pregame a night out, I'm just not going anymore lol. 
  3. Eating out/Food deliveries. I'm still going to go to special occasions and birthdays, but I have zero desire to casually spend money eating out anymore. Not for lunch, not for dinner, and not on the weekends which is when I tend to spend the most money on food. I'm excited to start making healthier decisions. 

2020 Vision: 10 Dreams I'm Achieving Over the Next Decade

January 1, 2020

Photo by Jamie Street 

- be sure to link to Marie Forleo's 3 part series

Marie Foleo has been one of my icons for a few years. so when she released this three-part Decade in Review Series on Youtube, I knew it was mandatory for me to complete it. I was having so much resistance when it came to this exercise. Maybe because I've been pretty disappointed in myself for how much I didn't accomplish in 2019. But when I look back at the 2010s, I'm actually quite proud of what I achieved and what I and my family overcame. It's been full of so many highs and extreme lows. But I've finally come to understand that I shouldn't pursue a problem-free life. That's not what will help me live out my dreams. Instead, I will pursue cultivating the emotional grit and discipline that I will need in order to live the life I know I am capable of living.

And in the spirit of loving myself more, I have to forgive myself for all the mistakes and for taking time to heal in 2019. Hey, I didn't quit and sometimes that's all that's required of us. Every season can't be one of exponential achievements whether that be in our careers, finances or personal relationships. So 2019 was far from my finest year. That's ok because I needed this slow chapter in order to become the person I need to be in my next chapter. I know a lot of other people who can admit that 2019 kicked their butts. But guess what, we still here! And now we are stronger than ever. If you still need a little time to rest before focusing on your goals, I think that's totally fine. Babysteps are still productive and healing is the most productive thing we can do to set us up for success.

So now that I've had a chance to learn so many freaking lessons (the hard way since I can be hardheaded), I can see clearly what I want to pursue during the 2020s and eliminate all the toxic habits that were holding me back. Uh, it feels so good to let go. I refuse to put pressure on myself to achieve everything I want to do in one year. I am grateful for every day I have on this earth. I hope the Lord blesses me with a long life so I can focus on enjoying these different chapters instead of beating myself up for not being "good enough". Cheers to a new chapter. I hope my list below encourages you to do this exercise for yourself. After all, how can we live the life we want if we don't take time to figure out what it is we actually want?

My 10 Mega Goals for the Next Decade

1. I will be completely debt-free! Well, my goal is to actually be debt-free by the time I'm 30 (4 years). Reckless spending and student loans have caused me so much anxiety, fear, and shame. But I have certainly learned from my mistakes and I recognize the financial and social distractions I want to remove from my life in order to be one step closer to freedom. I'll share more details about my total money makeover plan this month.

2. I will build financial-freedom (and generational wealth) so I can work when I want, where I want and not sacrifice a nice lifestyle. The four-hour workweek has been on my reading list for ages, but part of me has been hesitant to read it because I am not able to live a lifestyle like that... so far. But I realize that the harder I work now, the sooner I'll be able to be my own boss, control my own schedule, and dedicate more time to charitable causes. 

3. I will turn this blogging platform into a multi-faceted business! This is what I am most excited about. I know so many people say the blogging industry is dead, but I don't care. I love writing. I love creating content. I love sharing all the helpful resources, products and organizations I discover. I love sharing my fashion sense and my journey of becoming the woman of my own dreams. But most of all, I love how this blog and social media have allowed me to connect with so many wonderful people (aka you). We encourage each other and that always fills my heart. I know so many incredible women who used their blogs to launch businesses so they can live life on their own terms. It's time for me to believe that I can do the same instead of living in fear.

4. I will travel to every continent. There are so many places I want to travel to. I want to experience so many different walks of life, and I hope to do so with my friends and my future significant other.  But if I stay single for the rest of my life, I still plan to extensively travel during the next decade... after I meet some of my financial goals. The world is filled with so much love and beauty, and I want to see and document it.

5. I will adopt a cleaner lifestyle across my diet, household goods, beauty products, and shopping habits. The more I learn about the processed food and chemicals we are constantly exposed to in all the products we buy, the sicker I feel about it. I don't think I'll ever be able to be a vegan or something like that, but I can shift to a more sustainable lifestyle in every aspect of my life. Not just for my sake, but also for the sake of the environment.

6. I will be more open to love and accepting others for who they are while still staying true to my boundaries. I totally admit that I have not made the best decisions when it comes to navigating the dating world. I am trying to learn how to uphold all of my boundaries and standards without expecting anyone to be perfect. Luckily, I am still pretty young and am in no rush to get married, but I do not want to put up with mistreatment or disrespect. So mindful dating is the only way I'm going to date in this next decade. That means I have to accept that I'll probably have a ton of first, second or third dates that lead absolutely nowhere, but I'm finally ok with. Practice makes perfect after all. And I know that as I continue to focus on my values and priorities, I will attract a guy who shares the same vision. In the meantime, I'll keep developing my friend group so I have more people to celebrate milestones with.

7. I will compete or perform in tasteful venues/events. My friend Georiga does this and she is such an inspiration to me. NYC provides so many opportunities to perform at galas, holiday parties, festivals, competitions, burlesque shows and more. It's time for me to pursue this dream again. I grew on competitive dance teams and always LOVED having an intense dance routine to perfect for performances and competitions. Time to bring that back into my life.

8. I will create a career that I am excited about. Everyone who is still at the beginning of their careers in Fashion PR knows that it is hard to stay happy when you are paid pennies and fucking live in one of the most expensive cities in the world (most Fashion PR jobs don't pay well for the first few years so if you are pursuing that goal, have a side hustle from the beginning - I wish someone had told me this from the jump). But I know every career step I take is preparing me for my proper place in the working world. So patience and grit are what I plan to keep cultivating so I don't lose sight of the big picture.

9. I will start a family during this decade. I am excited to create so many incredible memories with my friends before settling down, but I deeply want to start a family in my 30s. Luckily, my 30s are a good few years away, and I am nowhere near ready to start my own family. I still want to spend my 20s focusing on creating a solid foundation and supporting my future partner's dreams while I pursue my own. But I know deep in my heart that I want to have my first child in my 30s. Will my life align with this plan? IDK. I want to build financial wealth before bringing children into my life. And I would like to raise kids with that special someone, but if I'm not meant to have a husband by my side, I'll just need to save for a little longer before having kids on my own. It's kind of insane that I have to think about this now. But hey, I know that having a family is something I want. And I want my kids to have every opportunity in the world... opportunities and experiences come with a price so saving and investing for my future and my future family's future starts now.

10. I will practice gratitude every single day. I definitely spent most of 2019 focusing on everything that was "wrong" in my life and believing there was something "wrong" with me instead of walking through each day with gratitude and joy. I want to find that happy medium where I can keep working to improve my life while appreciating everything I already have and having a smile on my face. I hope this is a goal for everyone I meet.

This was a pretty raw post. It's scary to put this in writing on the internet for everyone to see. But now you can all hold me accountable. It's a blessing and a curse. If you want to be accountability partners, feel free to share your goals in the comments below. We can navigate the path to creating a beautiful life together. Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Your support means so much to me. It's something I will never take for granted. Happy New Year and Happy New Decade!

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