Monday, November 27, 2017

Early Lessons in Fashion



   I learned the importance of clothes quickly as a teenager. When I was a kid my mom picked out all of my clothes. I would grumble under my breath because I would prefer something else but didn't want to come across ungrateful. Being raised by a single mom meant all of my clothes came from the thrift store... ya know before the thrift store became cool to shop at. Every time we went shopping I'd hope it would be to one of the cool stores in the mall or a department store. Nope, it was always Value Village or some other place full of someone else's memories. This went on until middle school. 

   The summer before high school I was given money to buy my own clothes at the stores of my choice. I don't remember how much it was. I think it was $100.

   That is when I also learned $100 doesn't get you much at the mall. It can get you damn near a whole new wardrobe at the thrift store but NOT the mall. I didn't care thou. I carefully picked out a few outfits spending my money strategically. I was careful to spend my money on key pieces that could be mixed and matched like jeans and t-shirts. 

   I didn't come out with much but what I did buy I felt good about. I remember even sneaking in a cute white crop top that zipped up the front. I made sure to keep a jacket with me at all times to cover my stomach. 

   The weeks leading up to the start of school I was so damn nervous I felt sick to my stomach. "Are people going to like me?", "Did I buy the right outfits?". Basically all the important things a 15 year old girl worries about. The first day of high school came, I put on a cute pair of jeans, the white crop top I had no business buying and some cute sandals. My confidence was soaring. I was a freshman and I looked fresh. You couldn't tell me anything! I loved the feeling so much, when I got my first job you better believe I spent a good amount of money on my clothes. 

    Did I need the clothes to define who I was? Not at all but it helped give me the confidence boost I needed to feel more comfortable in a new setting with new people. I knew early on to take care of my appearance. It is true "You only get one chance to make a first impression". 

    Still, to this day I know I have to dress according to what my mood is or how I want to feel. If I'm feeling sick baggy sweats and holey ass t-shirts it is. Am I feeling sexy? Lace and something black always! Clothes are not a guarantee you will be liked. You definitely have to have a good attitude and a personality to match. However, there is nothing wrong with looking good because, in turn, it will make you feel good too. 




Photo on Visualhunt.com

Monday, October 23, 2017

Being A Career Minded Mama


   There is nothing wrong with getting married and having a ton of kids. I’m not knocking marriage at all. In fact, I encourage marriage and family. However, I also am all about being a badass, career-minded female that does it all. Kids, work, spouse, all of that! I’m just tired of the world dictating to us women what we’re supposed to do with our lives. It starts when we’re little girls and were given baby dolls and taught how to play house. It’s like it was ingrained in our adolescent minds that we had to be moms and homemakers, not career minded go-getters, while the men went out to become the breadwinners.

   Now that we are all grown up, we struggle day to day with the decision of what we should be doing. Stay home and raise our kids or be the career-minded women we’ve always dreamed of becoming. Why shouldn’t we do both? We can be the best mom and wife at home while being a kick-ass, career-minded CEO. Not only do I know it’s possible, but I recommend it. Focusing on your career is so important for you for so many reasons.

Perks to Being a Career Minded Mama

It Builds independence
   There is no better feeling in the world than being able to go out and buy your own things and pay your own bills. Yes, I know back in the day Destiny’s Child was all about “Bills, Bills, Bills,” and let’s face it, no woman wants to be with a man that can’t pull his own weight or provide for his family. But what about being able to take care of ourselves? What about the satisfaction you get from being able to do it on your own if you have to? Ladies, if you didn’t know already, I’m here to tell you that independence is sexy.

It Gives You Stability
   Marriage is a beautiful thing. But lets be honest, things happen in life. Vows don’t always stick and husbands can lose their jobs. Either way, you don’t have to stress out too much because you made sure you were prepared and focused on being a career minded hard worker. There is nothing wrong with being the breadwinner in the home. It happens all of the time and it makes us stronger.

Something to Focus on outside of Marriage
   When you get married and have kids, it’s so easy to lose yourself in your family. You get into a routine and begin to push your own hopes and dreams aside so you can be there for your kids. You do this because no one can care for them like you. During all of this, you have career goals in the back of your mind but tell yourself you’ll get to it later. What happens if later doesn’t come? There is always going to be a reason you want to push back your goals. But don’t do it!

 It Shows Your Kids How to Be Independent
   Your children watch your every move. They soak up everything they can from you. They watch you more than you know and your kids look up to you. Be the best role model your kid can ever have. By watching you fulfill your dreams they will want to as well when they get older, especially if you have a daughter. Let her see mommy being independent and career minded. I guarantee it will stick with her.

Have Your Own Identity
   Being a mom and wife is always a top priority. They are, generally, the most fulfilling roles a woman will ever have, but who were you before this fabulous family came into your life? You were an individual. You were free to be you. And if that was a career minded lady, unearth her once again! Remember: It’s a good thing to have a life and do things outside of the family that you give your all to.

A Confidence Builder
   It’s great getting compliments from our kids and spouses, but to be honest, sometimes we feel like they should be singing our praises! It’s different out in the world though. When we do a job well and receive approval from a total stranger, there’s something cathartic about it that makes us feel amazing! Like we can take on the world or at the very least get through the day.

Don’t Worry about What Other People Think
   On your path to greatness, people will try to tear you down. They’ll make snide comments about who’s taking care of your kids while you’re off living your dreams. Guess what? They would have something to say even if you weren’t. So don’t worry about outside opinions. How’s that saying go? “Those that mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” It’s true. Your family will support you because they love you and want to see you happy.

    I’m not saying run off and leave your husband or ignore your kids to be a solely career minded workaholic. I just want you to be the best you can be, and not forget who you are and what your dreams are. Be true to yourself and everything you aspire to be. It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to take a lot of work, but don’t give up. At the end of the long, tiring day, you owe it to yourself to have everything you want.


Photo via VisualHunt.com

Friday, October 20, 2017

Body Image and Raising Daughters

   

   My niece emailed me some pictures she had taken of me during her visit to Florida. As my daughter Sam sat next to me looking at the pictures the first thing I said was “Ugh, I look fat.” We all have body issues and we as women have a bad habit of picking ourselves apart and pointing out every single flaw we can find. I’m used to judging myself. What I quickly realized was I was doing it in front of my very impressionable teenage daughter. It was too late and the words were already out of my mouth. I had said it and she heard it.

   In the past, I’ve spoken about body image after having a baby as well as how we think our spouses feel about our ever-changing bodies. Unfortunately, our significant others are the ones that hear our complaints the most and hearing “Does this dress make my butt look big?” is a part of marriage.

   What we need to be absolutely careful about is what we say in front of our daughters. They need to be lifted up in positive words and see Mom do the same for herself. They don’t need to hear Mom put herself down. The world is already full of young girls with low self-esteem and poor body image thanks to social media and magazines. They don’t need their young vulnerable minds filled with garbage at home.

   Did I like the way I looked in the picture? No. Do I work out and bust my ass to look the way I want to? I sure do, but it takes time to see results. In all honesty, I don’t think I am overweight but it was the first thought that came to mind when I saw the unflattering photo of myself.

   As a parent that is always trying to let their kids know that looks aren’t everything, that moment was a parenting fail for me. I will have to move on from it and use a better choice of words in the future. The last thing I want is for any of my daughters to constantly look at themselves and scrutinize every single thing about them when they are absolutely beautiful. We as women are beautiful beings and we need to remember that. We come in different shapes, sizes, and colors and that alone adds to our beauty.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Review: Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Palette



   I know the Huda Beauty Desert Dusk palette has been out for weeks now but that's not going to stop me from sharing my thoughts with you. If you don't know who Huda Kattan is it is quite possible you live under a rock or you're just not that into the beauty industry. Huda is the most influential beauty influencer in the world. She started out blogging, sharing her tip and tricks much like the rest of us and she took off from there. The Desert Dusk palette is not the first makeup item Huda has produced but it quickly became my favorite! The packaging alone is beautiful enough to put on display.  

Without flash

   The Desert Dusk palette is made up of 18 swoon-worthy shades. With a combination of mattes, shimmers and an unbelievable pressed glitter you're bound to have endless looks!!! Huda went all out and gave us our moneys worth ($65 to be exact) with this palette. The colors blend well and are super pigmented which is what we all hope for in a palette of this caliber.


With flash

   One of the best things about this palette is it will look good on any skin tone. Sometimes we'll buy a palette we're really excited for only to be let down because it's not suitable for darker skin tones such as mine. Some palettes will only have a couple of colors I can wear but the Desert Dusk palette is absolutely perfect and I couldn't be happier with it.



   If you've used any of Huda's products let me know which ones and your thoughts. If not but you love her beauty tips leave your favorite in the comments below.

XOXO,
SJM

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

6 Things Not To Do In A Relationship


   I’m no relationship expert but I’ve been in enough shitty ones to know what NOT to do and what doesn’t work. I’m no saint. I’ve messed up plenty of times but I’ve also been on the flip side of that. I believe if you’re dating or married the same deal breakers apply. The only difference is when you’re married you’ve got more at stake. Some people say a relationship is work. Others say it’s not work if you’re with the right person. I say there is no right or wrong answer. I’ve dated and I’m currently married. In all cases some days were easier than others and some days felt like a double shift at a job you can’t wait to quit. I don’t know every thing but I do know what not to do in a relationship if you want it to last.

Not get to know each other
   This seems like a no brainer but let me explain. When we meet someone we can fall for outward appearances and go by what they tell us. Everyone has layers that need to be peeled back in order to really get to know someone. Nothing can ruin a relationship faster than investing time in someone that isn’t who you thought they were or come to find out you have completely different beliefs.
Instead: Don’t rush things. Don’t be afraid to ask difficult questions. I recently came across this New York Times article about psychologist Arthur Aron. He apparently has a knack for helping people fall in love. His claim to fame? Asking your potential mate 36 particular questions to help you fall in love. Which basically goes back to… get to know each other!

Not spend time together
   This can be hard especially if you’ve got young kids. Couples get busy with work and their lives outside of their partners and they unintentionally start spending less and less time together causing them to drift apart.
Instead: Make time for one another. If you have to set a standing date night at least once a week where it’s just the two of you and reconnect. If you have kids choose a night when they are fast asleep and just chill on the couch and talk. Or put money aside for a sitter once a month and go out and enjoy each other’s company.

Not Sleep Together
   I don’t mean sex. I mean actually not sleeping together. When we get mad it’s an instinct to either leave the room or tell our spouse to sleep on the couch. After all we need our space right? Nope. Going to bed angry is one thing but going to bed separately may cause more space than you really want.
Instead: Even if you’re still angry and the issue hasn’t been resolved sleep on it but don’t sleep apart. It may bring you even closer and help you move past the problem if you can get through the night in the same bed.

Not communicate
   It’s easy to shut down and try to ignore our problems. Talking can be pretty uncomfortable. I think that’s why a lack of communication is such a big issue for couples. Some times it’s just easier not to talk about certain topics and just hope any issues that may arise just blow over.
Instead: We need to open up no matter how uncomfortable it may be. If talking isn’t your or your partner’s strong suit find another way to communicate. Do it in writing if you have to. Sit down and write out everything you have to say. It may be easier than talking because you won’t feel rushed or get interrupted if your partner doesn’t agree with what you have to say.

Not ask how their day was
   You haven’t seen your partner all day. You’re tired, they’re tired. You’re pretty sure their day was the same, as always so you don’t bother asking how their day was.
Instead: Show them that you really do care. Regardless if your spouse stays home caring for the kids all day or they have a monotonous job where it’s the same thing day in and day out ask them how their day was and actually listen to what they have to say. It shows you care about them even when they’re not with you.

Not put anyone before your spouse
   This is really a case-by-case basis. If you’re in middle of a conversation with your partner and your BFF calls or you're playing on your phone it’s just plain rude but when you constantly do it to your spouse it can be a real relationship killer.
Instead: If it’s not an emergency and your friend stops by unannounced, your sister calls to gossip or anything else that is unimportant while in the midst of spending time with your partner politely let them know “Hey I was in the middle of something I’ll call you back.” Or “I’ll stop by later”. Make your partner feel like they mean more to you than Joe Blow down the street.

   Like I said, I’m no relationship expert but I have been in some good and not so good relationships. I’ve also made mistakes but I’ve learned from them. If I can help anyone from the mistakes I’ve made then great! Glad I can help. You can repay me by sending me a bottle of wine.

Have any relationship advice? Leave it down in the comments and let's get a discussion going!





Photo credit: annajuliesh via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Monday, August 28, 2017

7 Things To Do Before Having Kids


   I’ll start this by saying kids are great. There is nothing in the world like giving birth to another human being. The experience is a blessing and it’s life changing. I really do mean it is life changing. Once you become a parent you have another person that you are responsible for. Spontaneity no longer exists. I totally believe you can still do what ever you want once you have kids but you now have to plan everything around this little person. So if your goal is to have kids one day there are some things I highly recommend you do before that day comes.



Travel the world
   You may already have a place in mind. Whether you want to go to a fancy Bed and Breakfast in Georgia, spend a week in an Italian villa or back pack across Europe you need to do it before you have kids. Imagine having to get passports for a whole family and then trying to sight see once you get to your destination. Not to mention the small fortune it would cost. Do it now then when you do have kids you’ll have awesome stories to tell.

Go to school
   This may seem like a no brainer but a lot of people think it’s best to take time off after high school. It starts off as one year and turns in to many more. Then before you know it you’re trying to juggle school and kids while trying to keep your sanity. Go to school; get your education so you can secure a good future for not only yourself but your little ones as well.

Live alone
   Many people get a roommate or two to save money and that is the smart thing to do when you’re first starting out on your own but then you go from a roommate to living with your significant other and next thing you know you’ve got a full blown family. Take the time to live by yourself. There is nothing like waking up in your own home with no one to answer to. Hell walking around naked is a pleasure that gets taken for granted. If you take some time for yourself to live alone you’ll be so glad you did once you have kids.

Appreciate your body
   It’s ok to take care of yourself but don’t obsess with how you look right now. Chances are you are beautiful and just being extremely hard on yourself. Once you have kids and your body changes you’re going to wish you appreciated your post baby body and realize you didn’t look bad after all.

Save your money
   Again, another no brainer but saving money is usually something people don’t think about until the baby is already on the way and at that point it gets kind of hard because the money is getting spent faster than it can be made. Having a baby is expensive, raising a kid costs even more so make sure you’re financially prepared so you can enjoy your new bundle of joy instead of being stressed out about how to take care of it. 

Get to know your spouse
   Much like living by yourself is important it’s also important for you and your spouse to live alone before having kids so you can get to know one another. Spend time with just the two of you and develop a bond. Once baby comes along you really will only have each other to depend on and that bond will keep you together when things get stressful.

Have fun
   It’s a lot harder to party and be hung over the next day when you have kids. So live your life and have fun. Life will still be fun once you have a family but it will be a different kind of fun. So party, get shit faced and then enjoy the silence as you suffer from a hang over the next day with no kids to bother you asking for breakfast.

   These are just some of the things I think are important to do before having kids but I highly recommend you make your own list of goals and start checking them off your list. Don’t worry if you don’t get them all done. At least once you become a parent you’ll have an adorable little partner to tackle the rest of your list with.




Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Fashion Tips For The Busy Mom




   Mom is a title that carries a lot of weight and is full of so much responsibility. We spend most of our days tending to the needs of others we can easily forget about our own needs and ourselves. As moms we tend to look as exhausted as we feel but we don’t have to. With just a few basic pieces of clothing, some accessories and a little time you can look like an off duty model instead of an on duty mom. 

   Let’s start with the basics. Believe it or not a pair of great fitting jeans and a simple t-shirt is the foundation for a put together look. When choosing your denim go for what is comfortable for you. If you’re not into the latest trends, then don’t attempt them. Hey, distressed denim is not for everyone. Your t-shirt can be a plain solid color or it can be a vintage band tee just make sure it’s not too tight, too short or too long.  I like mine to go to mid hip.  


Every day outfits



 If you’re running around doing errands with the kids opt for cute and comfortable shoes. My favorites are white low top converse. They are comfy, easy to clean and always in style.

All white Chucks




I stopped using diaper bags a long time ago. Big bulky bags with characters on them just didn’t cut it for me. Instead I just carry a large purse with me that can double as a diaper bag. The key is it has to have a lot of inside compartments.

   The next step is makeup. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Where am I going to find the time to apply makeup?” Have a “go to” look. A signature look is a real time saver. Once you’ve done it so many times you begin to get into a rhythm and it becomes second nature to you. What may have started out as a 30-minute process can become 10 once you’ve mastered it. My go to look? Polished brows, dark lips, winged liner and lots and lots of mascara!

   To take your look from day to night is easier than you’d think. Simply dress it up with a pair of heels and a statement necklace. 


    I hope you find this advice to be of some help. Give it a try and I bet all the moms at the next PTA meeting will be wanting to know how you look so good!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...