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Upside down & Bloated

Happy Tuesday Sugars!

It’s appears that mother nature can’t make up her mind lately so I’ve had to get creative for Sprinter(Spring and Winter)

Like if I have to layer one more time I’m going to have a meltdown! Sprinter calls for creativeness so that’s what I’ve had to do more of lately. I had a baby shower to go to a few weeks ago and didn’t feel like dressing up, but was definitely not going to wear this basic as sweater and try to make it into a lewk. Nah!So I turned that bitch upside down and baby you couldn’t tell me this wasn’t a designer off the shoulder sweater. You should have seen how excited I was to tell the story each time someone complimented my look. I was like “Guuuuuurl it’s an H&M sweater turned upside down!” *dramatic hand gestures and all” The moooost I know.Being bloated on the other hand is more like every other damn week it seems. My go to for my disrespectful fanny pack around hat time is some good ole high waisted pants. Like you get to be bloated but look like your waist is still small. No Midol please! I found these at MadeWell and now they are on sale for $59.99 😩🤦🏾‍♀️

A cinched waist and they make your booty look good! Giiiiiiirl go get you a pair! And no this ain’t sponsored.

These poppin ass heels are Betsey Johnson

A friend of mine Stephanie posted them in her stories and next thing I knew I was hitting send on that Venmo like my life depended on it.

Now I’m off to appointments with the kid and Therapy! What y’all up to on his beautiful day?

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Self Care

Two years ago I did a post on Self Care and talked about what that meant to me and how I practiced it. You will still catch me doing weekly bath bombs and biweekly spa visits, but since the last post a few things have been added

Journaling

I’m pretty sure Journaling is just a fancier word than diary for adults. You couldn’t pay me to write in a diary as a kid or a teen, but journaling as an adult is therapeutic as heck. It literally feels like with every word I’m releasing whatever it is that’s bothering me that day or noticing a shift in mood and seeing change through each entry. Sometimes I accidentally fall on an old page and think “Look at you making progress V!”

Therapy

Although my dreams of sitting on a pink velvet or leopard couch didn’t come true, I’m seeing a therapist and loving it. Having a spouse, friends and loved ones to speak to is cool, but it doesn’t always mean they are qualified to help you with all things or can do so without a bias feedback. Seeing a specialist means I’m paying you for your time so there’s no “girl you’ll be alright” quick responses or “let me call you back!”. It’s routine, accountability and progress check all in one visit.

Looking your best

My mother told us growing up “You don’t have to look like your problems!” We were always raised to look our best when stepping out, but this statement to me also means to look like a victor not a victim. It’s means putting a little effort whether it be steaming your clothes instead of just throwing something on. It means not looking like your to do list. My first pick me up after prayer in the morning is always getting dressed or simply looking put together even on days when I’m not feeling my best. Try it if you must, but it’s hard to be slumped with a good statement piece or a bold lip!

Company you keep

Let me start off by saying that the thoughts we keep is Company. Lately I’ve had to edit my thoughts a lot and work on breathing techniques to keep me from thinking or creating a bigger problem than I actually have. Second I’ve had to check patterns and feelings to realize that I’d been holding on to relationships that no longer served me or made me feel good. Reality was that the insanity was my new norm because I allowed it to be. It took util my 30’s to really see that the company you keep will either add or subtract to your life and journey. We want what we want and sometimes think we have a way of changing people to better fit our lives and plans. Found myself thinking “God if only this person just didn’t do this or did it my way” . It’s like no Vanessa it was a misfit and not even instructions could have made that friendship work. Lastly I had to be honest that I was at fault sometimes and that maybe I wasn’t what they needed. Not a fun experience , but ya know growing pains.

Outfit

* Thrifted linen blazer

* H&M boyfriend jeans

*Gucci mules

How do you self care lately?

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A vibe

Top: New Zara

Boots : New Zara(Currently on sale in stores)

Pants: old Zara buy

Coat: thrifted

waist beads: www.shopiccon.com

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Back to my roots

It’s not hard to tell that my first fashion love is a little 80’s 40’s flair. Give me exaggerating sleeves, tailored bodice and a piece that give Drammma darling! If you’ve been following me for a while you know that I was crazy obsessed with thrifting. The love never died, I just got really booked and left with little time to thrift the last two years. Good problem to have financially, but boring and less interesting wardrobe wise. Fast fashion produce cheap, but affordable quality and the designer pieces like Jacquemus is a mortgage that I can’t afford unless I got a hook up(don’t do those cause if I can’t afford it without you its a dependent situation and I don’t like asking for shit) or snag at an end of the year sale.Over the last couple of months I’ve noticed when cleaning out my closet that the things that are lasting are my vintage and designer finds. Majority of the things I’m throwing out are H&M and Zara things. I still shop there but very selective on what I’m buying and being realistic about my expectations from it. Is it a must have? How good is this quality? Should I just save up a little longer and buy the original with better quality? Stuff like that. H&M is a hit or miss now a days. 12-13 years ago the quality was way better. Every once in a while I’ll purchase something like these jeans that were made to last(wear them once a week).

So recently I’ve been making time to go thrifting because I’m missing my Angela from “Who’s The Boss” blazers, fun bold colors and exaggerated sleeves.I scored this blazer at the Salvation Army for……*Drummm rolllll* $4.99 and then half off cause it was 50% off of all yellow and green tags. This was a yellow tag baby! 🤸🏾‍♀️🤸🏾‍♀️😂. Like this quality is amazing and it cost what I would pay for a bag of large Doritos (maybe even cheaper). I’m looking forward to more finds and spending my money on designer shoes on sale(the quality really is worth the coins) . If you’re patient enough to thrift this season look for Levis denim, wind breaker 90’s jackets, structured blazers, trench coats and oversized denim jackets. All of these are currently “trending” so get your shopping on.

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Casual…. I guess

Happy Friday!

It seems like Friday’s lately involves my third grader and his school. Last week I woke up late and had to drive him to school. This Friday he tells me that he can wear the color green. I get a call from my daughter this morning telling me all the kids from his school have their uniforms on and no green anything. Wooosah

So now I have to take my extra ass to the school to bring him his uniform because umm you don’t get a free pass because you “thought you heard” that green is he theme. I’m thinking about wearing this. Cause it’s casual Friday soooo why not?!

this is going to be me waiting at the front desk with his uniform like hey son! 😂😂👋🏾

If you have children I pray you can laugh at the shenanigans like I’ve been doing for my sanity or else I’ll be picking up my dreadlocks every step. If you don’t still laugh at something today because life’s too damn good not to.

Enjoy your weekends!

Sweatshirt- old

Jeans- old H&M

Coat- Bobby From Boston

Mules – Tibi- no longer available

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Ice Cream

Mood:🍦🍦

Track: Raekwon Ft. Method Man “Ice Cream” Thrifter Fur

H&M turtle neck

Zara skirt

Marshalls Socks

Nike Huarache

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I’m not a politician, sorry.

I’d like to think I came a long way from the overly blunt, rude teenager that I was years and years ago. 16 to be exact. You become wiser, mature and a bit more thoughtful and realize that words hurt and not everything you think of should roll off your tongue. Cool. The adulting process has taught me that while I should think before I react, I still need to be honest with myself and others. What I thought at times was just “letting it go” really said to others “It’s okay to treat me this way”. Even what I choose to listen to says a lot. I.e everybody’s issues or gossip which leaves me drained and distracted from what I have to do.

In the recent months I’ve had to address and cut communication with those who only reach out for a favor, promote something or throw their problems at me without a care on how I’m doing. Like WTF do I look like ? One of the girls from Erykah Badu’s “bag Lady video?! Nah

I don’t like to play victim so I had to ask myself why are people comfortable to call you with mess, try and use you as a Rolodex. The answer was cause I let them and take part. So I had to start speaking up which believe it or not for a blabber mouth like me was uncomfortable. When we care about relationships and want to save it we will bite our tongues and hold our feelings back for the sake of an argument. Harboring all these feelings isn’t doing anything good for my health or that relationship for that matter.

I’ve taken this approach with even business partnerships and personal life. No you don’t have to be nasty to follow up on an invoice, to disagree with a contract or to tell a friend about something that’s bothering you.

Just practicing this consistently when needed (because some things aren’t worth my breath) has helped me so much. It’s like decluttering and cleansing for the soul. I’ve learned that self care is deeper than my mani, pedi and hair dos. Sometimes it requires being uncomfortable, putting yourself first and being brutally honest. Like I’m not a politician so you gon get this honesty even if it means making you uncomfortable .

Anybody else struggle with having to address unhealthy relationships?

Outfit

Sleeveless jacket- My mother gifted me from a local boutique

Tank- Tjmaxx

Vintage Levis jeans – Thrifted

Feather Mules- Tibi (no longer available bit have great sales) this

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You have nothing to wear because you don’t experiment!!!

A few weeks ago I had a speaking engagement and was trying on outfits the hour prior. My daughter walks in and says “you’re wearing that shirt? I feel like you wear it a lot”

Me: yes it’s mine, I bought it to wear it. Style is not about how much you have. It’s what you do with it and how it makes you feel! Oh and You’re grounded!!!!!!!

(My daughter was referring to this top) The thing is she’s 15 with the same mentality that a lot of my clients have. There is no point in having clothing that you won’t use to maximize your wardrobe. If repeating is not your thing then cool, but most people would like to but don’t know how.The trick to getting the most use is experimenting and taking risks. We tend to wear the same pieces the same way. Each time you go to pull that piece challenge yourself to wear it differently. Even if it’s just a different top or shoes etc. This way you are building up your confidence to getting out of your comfort zone while maximizing your wardrobe! A win.

This Line By K skirt is one of those closet essentials that’s going to work all seasons and work with all body types!

I’m going to have a mini series breaking down why you have nothing to wear. The first few will be about repeating pieces and taking risks!

Leave me any questions you have on this part of it! Anybody else repeat the heck out of their clothes?

Outfit 1

Tjmaxx earrings, vintage shirt (was under $5) 7 years old

Outfit 2

H&M turtleneck , Beriqisu , Pour La Victoire boots from TJ Maxx , sock from Marshalls

Outfit 3

H&M men’s shirt , vintage coat from Bobby From Boston

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#NewYorkCoffeeTalk ft. Harrison T. Crite

Last weekend as you may have seen on my social media, I had my second #NewYorkCoffeeTalk of the year. This months topic was “Hustle” w/ International Stylist Harrison T. Crite. Looking the part is always easy, but what you do well, consistently when nobody is watching is what determines your hustle or lack there of. Watching Harrison’s growth and consistency, there was no doubt that he was the best person to host this months topic!“I’ve never been afraid to try something new “ – Harrison Crite

Like there are fly people all over NY, but honnnnney you just know when a NYCT attendee walks through the door. Slayage every single time!

There was more note pads and note taking than social media coverage. So much gems being dropped that you just had to be there to absorb it all. Harrison shared how he got started in the industry, tips for creating multiple streams of income and and how it was important to have “Faith Over Fear!”. Basically it was a creatives church on a Saturday.So much style, magic and creativity in our reserved corner that the talk went over. The smiles, the connections and building reminded me why I started this series in the first place.

Coffee Talk will be continuing in the Spring! I will post new dates then:

Photographer: Rose. L

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Gratitude.

December was long. I mourned, rested, laid in bed…A lot. This rolled over into January and then I reminded myself that

1. I have the right to take as much time as I need.

2. You may never get over loss.

3. Life still continues, the sun still rises and sets even when we are still.

4. Through loss you gain new perspective.

5. Healing sometimes means moving again and showing gratitude for what we do have. Gratitude eats away at pity and pain.I had my 2nd #NewYorkCoffeeTalk of the year this past weekend and it was all I needed. New faces, old faces, hugs, fashion and good energy all balled up in our little reserved area. A Forever high! A reminder of why I started and will elevate the series.I’ve been adulting when it’s comes to traveling and packing. Meaning I fly with one carry on, 3 footwear option and 6-7 pieces of clothing. That’s a big deal for someone who usually packs like a crazy person. If you’re new to following me- I don’t pre pick outfits. Packing is more like grab items that matches my current mood and include a top and bottom. Outfit

The morning of Coffee Talk I give myself some time to reflect, prepare for the day and then pick an outfit on the spot. It always works. The crazy and procrastinator in me wouldn’t have it any other way!

Tee shirt- Walmart

Vintage Bustier- thrifted

Skirt- Tibi ON SALE HERE! Use Monroe Steele’s code Monroe20 for extra 20% off !

Pour La Victoire Boots- Local T.J Maxx

Socks- The Sock Shack

Photographer : Rose L.

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