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My Beach Is Betta

When it’s too hot to wear real clothes you throw on your beach wear.  I know, I know. “But it’s a bathing suit” , but baby rules were made to be broken.  Okrrrrrrt?!(Cardi B voice)Wearing bathing suits with jeans is nothing new under the sun, but making it classy and a lewk isn’t something I see often.  When I purchase bathing suits I not only think about how it will look on the beach, but I also pick pieces that will look great with my signature summer a line skirt looks. I want my one pieces to be a lewk with some wide leg pants and scrappy sandals.  One that is so good that you won’t know its not a bodysuit unless I tell you. I purchased this bra from Target 2 years ago to go to Puerto Rico with my family.  The print got may attention so I grabbed it despite the fact that it was one size too small.  That’s how I get my fake Double D boobs because truth is Momma’s breast been the same size since high school I think.  My mother buys my bras so I’ll have to double check those facts, but I can guarantee they didn’t grow a full cup since then. You’ve been picking out your beachwear all wrong baby. Here’s  how you do it to ensure you are double dipping on that purchase and getting your pennies worth.   Below are the types of pieces to shop for in your stash or on Asos and target(only places I’ve purchasedShopping separates

Look for fun prints and color.  If the colors and prints are too intimidating then make sure there’s intricate details like straps, cut outs and sheer for some flava. You don’t  want to look like you are wearing a basic ass bathing suit top.  You reveal that on your time, not the bathing suit.  I personally don’t buy the matching bottom if it’s not exciting. Life is too  short to be matching your separates every Summer.

One Piece 

Not every one piece is cut the same so try them on to make sure it’s flattering. The ones with the high cut sides(like the Bay Watch girl lifeguards) cinches the waist and gives an hour glass frame. They look flattering with high waisted jeans and skirts.  Stay away from ruffles or tiered styles past the navel. You will end up with a confused look trying to stuff additional fabric into your bottoms.  Fabric quality is also very  important because there is no break on the eyes  like a two piece. If it looks cheap there is no finessing it. If it looks like a mess and falling apart on the hanger then skip it. Lastly make sure you are comfortable with the support it gives to the bust, because an exposed bra isn’t  ladylike .In April I wore this same top to walk around Miami Beach. A blazer and some heels took it from beach to roof top dining.My two recent bathing suit purchases are this  red one piece and this  white one

Check out this page of one piece bathing suit from Asos which pretty much sums up all the ones that transition into outfits except for the three  “Frankies Bikinis ” ones which has crocheted too much going on! Happy shopping and feel free to ask additional questions below-I got you playa.

Fit

Thrifted silk vintage blazer($2.00 at Salvation Army 🙋🏾‍♀️😜)

Cinq á Sept skirt via TjMaxx store

Windsor Store heels

Target bathing suit bra( 2 years old)

TJMaxx earrings

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Daddy Issues

Tapping into it..

Two weeks ago in my Instagram stories for Fathers Day I shared how growing up without a father has affected me the last few years compared to barely caring my whole life.  At least I thought.  I don’t know if it’s seeing the heart throbbing and deep connection my daughter has with my husband or that I realized how important their presence is period.  I think it’s both and then some.  While I shared this on Fathers Day it actually wasn’t the first time I’d tap into these feelings.

It was actually a few months ago. I sat straight up in bed and thought  “I have daddy issues”.  You would have thought I came up with some serious invention or something.  Shit made me sit right up. I called my girlfriend Marsha like “Giiiiirrrrrrrrrl I have daddy issues!”  to which she replied calmly ” yeah….”. As if to say yeah girl like a lot of us fatherless women do.  The last few years I’ve picked up on outlooks from women who grew up with fathers and those who didn’t. For example, my girlfriends who grew up with fathers who were positive role models and good to their mothers were extra picky about the men they dated and was willing to go a long period of time without being in a relationship until the man met their expectations. There was no gray area.  Either you did or you didn’t meet the standards. Period. They also still believed that there were good men out there where as me and some friends  who  grew up with grandfathers, uncles and fathers with cheating and manipulative ways always heard “Men Ain shit!” and believed it for the most part. Most recently I had this discussion with a friend who said her father’s absence made her work twice as hard so that she would never need to depend on man and gave her a no bullshit tolerance for them.

The meeting….

I met him at 15 in Brooklyn after asking my mother to find him for me. I explained to my mother that me wanting to meet him is not a reflection  of how she did as a parent but instead because I needed to know the other half of me. He gave the wrong number for us to meet later that day, but we found him on Nostrand Avenue playing cards in the basement of a rundown Haitian restaurant. “Where have you been ?” I asked while he adjusted  my tee shirt to close the gap between my bare stomach and Brazilian low ride jeans. He replied that he’s sent gifts for me to the same apartment that he once lived in with us.  He also confirmed he had other children who’s life he’s actively in.  So yes if you’re wondering he was given a chance to share his story, restart and rebuild with me. Clearly he chose not to. Imagine how annoyed I am even thinking about this man 18 years later. Like why the fuck do you care Vanessa?!   Because, how I  end up doesn’t give him and will never give him a pass to being absent and the older I get the more I see how much this absense affected both me and my mother. A seed planted is a seed planted…good or bad.

The women who grew up with fathers have such admiration  for their fathers and a child like glow about them when speaking of them. While you can still be great without a father, their presence and knowledge could help with life, lessons and love. When I started dating my husband in highschool I didn’t have a man to run to and share some thoughts and experiences with.  Someone to reassure me this is a man’s way of thinking or it’s immaturity and this too shall pass.  Heck my husband didn’t grow up with a father to tell him what feelings and actions a man should have . We have to figure it out in a lot of trial and error.  Yes women with great fathers can still experience these trial and errors, but they have a guide. Fatherless Daughters have to work twice as hard to figure  that shit out.

Women who are forced and given no choice to be “Strong” can turn bitter. For years I considered my mother strong for wearing  both the pants and skirt only to realize as an adult it must not have always felt that way for her. I stopped telling her Happy Fathers Day for a role she wasn’t born or signed up to play. We need to replace “You’re so  strong” with “how are you?” and  “What do you need?”. My grandfather who had many many children and baby mothers has come around more consistently the last 10 years and I can see the difference it’s made with my mother. She’s been more vulnerable and finds comfort in saying she’s going to  call her father. It’s like the little girl in her is happy and the “Strong” woman in her can take a break.

Closure 

So I ask myself now what?
You tapped into these feelings, he’s still not here. Now what?.  Nothing.  I addressed them instead of putting it off for what it’s not and that’s how I heal. Me accomplishing my goals isn’t a pass for his absence. His absence is also not a reason to shame away from this topic or not teach my kids how important vulnerability is. While I get annoyed with giving even half a fuck and him none I still owe it to myself to heal and deal with it.  So yes women who marry great fathers still need their fathers.

Fatherless or not, please share your experiences with or without your father.  I still get fuzzy hearing and seeing women love up on their fathers.

Fit

Bandeau top Tribes Of Joseph

Men’s Suit thrifted

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Dine Out Mami

If you watch my IG stories or even watch my food highlights you know that I love to eat and sometimes enjoy cooking. Outside of small vacations with the kids my favorite thing to do in the Summer is dress up and dine out.  It’s the  way I grew up bonding with my family as a kid and now a preferred pastime with my own family and friends.  Just like Love we need food so why not make it memorable and feel good(Ha that’s a nice line) Anyways here are some favorite restaurants  that I’ve had on repeat lately and how I dress. This outfit was worn to dinner at Del Frisco, reservations for two.

Brunch

  The Farmers Daughter Easton, MA

I was introduced to Farmers Daughter a few years ago by someone and been glued there since.  The name matches the decor and the food.  Fresh squeezed orange juice, wooden tables and drinks served in mason jars.  Like a moment. I pretty much tried the whole menu at this point.

What I’ve had…

Benedict

toasted challah, poached farm eggs, fran’s sweet tomato jam, chive hollandaise

Chicken & Waffle Benedict

chive, cheddar & corn waffle, bacon jam, buttermilk brined crispy chicken, local maple, poached farm eggs, chive hollandaise

Dress Code: Whatever I want. People pretty much wear anything from jeans to Sunday best looks.   I typically wear whatever I have on or pieces that reflect the mood which is usually yoga pants, hoodies and jeans, mules or sneakers.

Earls Kitchen + Bar

Ive been here about twice, once for dinner and this past Sunday  for brunch.  I preferred Sundays  brunch and $5 mimosas over last months dinner. The setting is pretty dope and both visits were memorable because of the glass ceilings and outdoor patio.

What I’ve had…

Del Frisco Eagles

My husband took the entire family here for my 30th birthday a few years ago and since then it’s been my go to for quality and hefty steak.  The other day I had the Prime Ribeye medium well (because the Haitian in me can’t do running blood of any kind) with some Spanish red wine .  I start off with their crab cake which was like 90% fresh crab meat(Rare these days and best I’ve ever had)

What I’ve had…

16 oz. 53

Dress Code:  Fun, sexy and flirty.  The views are so good so why not match it’s fly?! Last week I wore this outfit for a dinner for two.

Holly Crab–  Alllston MA

So ummmm….I’m obsessed with seafood and will only eat it where it’s just as good as I can make it or better.  This is better and a fave spot for our family date nights.

What I’ve had…

Snow Crab & Shrimp 3x Spicy Holly Crab sauce(don’t do this level if you don’t do spicy)

Dress Code: Clothes you don’t mind getting red stains and butter on!

Now for this LEWK….

DVF top (Diane Von furstenberg)

Zara skirt (two months ago)

Sophia Webster (few years old)

Purse- Vintage Salvatore Ferragamo

Earrings- TJ Maxx.

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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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