Thursday, April 5, 2018

Amelia's Guide to Swimwear

      Hey guys,

SUMMER IS COMING and because my blog is largely based on fashion (specifically affordable pieces, outfit repeating, and bold selections), I decided to write something about one of my favorite things: swimwear. I am all about keeping a wardrobe simple and minimal (regarding quantity). However, when it comes to swimwear, I am a materialistic, greedy, glutton. I love bikinis, I adore one-pieces, I covet cover-ups, and I love to pretend to be a natural-born beach-bum (polar opposite of my natural - most-likely actually polar - habitat). I have compiled my five top tips for mastering the art of swimwear. Enjoy. 

(I wrote this last year while living in Va and I don't feel like changing it. Either way, I still choose to shop online 90% of the time.) 

1. Style for your body type

     When it comes to buying swimwear, I mostly do it online. I do not have the luxury of trying things on in-person, unless I shop exclusively at Walmart (I live in hillbillyville, Virginia, oh, and I do occasionally wear Walmart swimwear). Because I can't see things IRL, I need to know what will be most flattering for my body. I recently discovered that I have one of the least cool body-types -inverted triangle- which goes against anything that you see in pop-culture or on your Instagram feed. It really only works if you're tall or super slim. I'm neither. If you don't know your body type, just look up "body shape guide" on google images and you will learn what "fruit" or "shape" you are. No matter what your shape is, the goal is to balance it out. For example, I have the hips of a nine year old boy, and a Pamela Anderson chest, while my sister has the hips of a mother of six and the ribcage of a nine year old boy. For me, I prefer suits that widen my bottom (ruffled sides or side-tie bottoms) and add the least amount of bulk to my chest or shoulders. Any top with padding, a wire, frills, thick bands, or sleeves is not my friend. For my sister (a pear), she can wear simple bottoms and a more detailed top. Draw attention wear you want it and away from where you don't. If you're tall, then tops with a wider band around your ribs can look really good. If you're short like me, those styles will just further shorten your torso. Do your research and see what works for you! However, in the end, it is honestly just best to wear what you are comfortable and confident in, even if its not what you "should" wear.


2. Shopping online and in person: know your sites, brands, and sizes

    Know your sites. Don't order from that FB ad that featured cute swimsuits at a suspiciously low price. If you order from one of those China sites: you can't trust the product will be as pictured, you don't get a quality guarantee, you can never rely on punctual shipping, and you definitely can't count on customer service being there for you if any problem occurs (it probably will). Swimsuit sizing is hard enough in-person, so you have to keep that in mind when shopping online. Sticking to brands you already wear is a good idea. I buy almost all of my suits from ASOS. Sometimes I will order two suits and return the one that doesn't work. I wear a dress size 2 typically, but with one-pieces I wear an 8 or 10. Swimsuit sizing is extremely weird and inconsistent. Bikinis are easier because it is more similar to shopping for a bra and underwear. Always read reviews for specific products, brands, and sites overall to ensure you're getting a quality product from a reputable source. When in doubt, size up. At 5'5, 118lbs, and a size 2, I most often end up wearing a size large/10. It doesn't make sense, I know. Be smart and use common sense when it comes to sites and know what brands work. Know return policies and order a few sizes, if needed. I still have mini heart attacks when I order a new swimsuit online. There are infinite body shapes but really only a few swimsuit cuts, so it can take some time to find what works.

3. Purpose: location and activity

       When you're deciding on a swimsuit, make sure you pick one to suit your occasion. If you are going to be more active, wear something secure. Don't wear a flimsy suit to go wake-boarding or you will come out with no suit. If you will be lounging by a pool, feel free to try something more impractical. I prefer simple (smaller the better) bikinis at the beach because one-pieces trap rocks and sand throughout the lining and, thanks to gravity, it will all end up in your girl parts. It is uncomfortable and totally annoying to clean out in the shower. DO NOT wear a white one-piece in the sand. It will be ruined. Save those for the pool. If you're going to a waterpark, wear the most secure suit you own (I'm talking like.. swim team status suits). If you plan on tanning, wear something accordingly (or wear nothing at all ;). I don't tan, so I can wear whatever strappy mess I want. So who's the real winner here.

4. Modesty

        When it comes to modesty and swimwear, I am not the best example. I hate one pieces on the beach for the reasons stated above. In addition to those, they are harder to dry, which is more likely to contribute to UTIs or yeast infections, which I have to fight to avoid daily. If I am around extended family or kids I feel best in a dorkier one-peice. If I am at the beach with people I will never see again, direct family, or just my husband, I will wear what I want, how I want. Do what you feel most comfortable wearing around whichever set of peers surround you. I feel more exposed in some of my one-pieces than I do in some of my bikinis. Even my "modest" suits make me a bit uncomfortable around certain people. To be honest, I probably wouldn't even feel 100% comfortable in a wetsuit.

5. Final swimwear tips

         I am a snowman by nature. I am pure white and covered in black hair. It's gross, but it's natural. I don't get tan in the sun, but I do freckle and burn. Before I go to the pool or beach, I feel most comfortable if I shave or wax for once and get a spray tan. Even though this advice is super controversial, I personally like to go tanning in a bed for a few minutes (maybe 4 minutes in a 15 minute max bed) at 3-5 times during the two weeks leading up to my trip. I do this because I burn so severely and easily. If I gently and slowly tan myself leading up to my trip, I've realized it nearly eliminates my chances of burning. It doesn't add much color at all, but that isn't the point. In the end, I believe it is healthier for me to avoid a burn all together and just prep my skin in a tanning bed. According to studies "there is no evidence to suggest a base tan will protect you from a burn," but from my personal experience it makes all the difference. I still use tons of SPF 30+ all day every day in the sun, whether I have my base or not and you should too. For diet, I try to avoid bread-type foods and an excess of sweets leading up to my trip. I drink a lot of water and smoothies and eat lots of plant-based protein. I just try to eat better. Nothing extreme but better than my usual routine. For working out I will go to the gym (maybe) and walk a little on the treadmill or use the stair master. I stretch a lot and do some crunches on a stability ball. Little things like this may not make a huge difference physically but they definitely help me mentally prepare for wearing a swimsuit.

         Do what you need to do to feel your best in swimwear. If you want to wear board-shorts and a tank top, go for it. The point of going to the beach, pool, waterpark, lake, etc, is to have fun, enjoy yourself, and enjoy the company of those around you. I feel great with a spray tan, spf 50, and a Walmart bikini on the beach. You may not and that is okay. Swimwear can be immensely stressful and personal for some people. Even if you do feel nervous, do what you need to do to feel better but don't waste your time hiding in a caftan under an umbrella (unless that is your definition of fun). You are your own worst critic. Other people aren't going to be nitpicking your every so-called "flaw" the way you do. Everyone (in real life at least) has cellulite, scars, bumps, bruises, hairs, blemishes, stretch-marks, and more. Be nice to yourself and be nice to those around you. Enjoy your summer, make the most of it, take a risk with a swimwear style you might not otherwise choose, and do whatever is necessary to feel your best.    



(http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-13/bikini-body-guide/8008566)




     


Thursday, March 8, 2018

So You Say You Support Women?

Hey everyone!

It is international Women's Day! I am so grateful for all the amazing women that influenced me throughout my life. You are all amazing.  

Today I want to briefly talk about feminism, double standards, and sexism. Do you consider yourself a feminist? Even if you don't think you are, you probably are one. If you believe in equality and freedom of choice, then congratulations, you're a feminist! Now, that being said, I 100% understand why someone wouldn't want to openly identify as one and I'm going to explain why.

I have seen far too many women who call themselves feminists hate hard on other women due to the fact that those women don't fit said feminists' narrative. That is not okay nor is that what it should mean to be a feminist. That is why other women are afraid to identify as such. 

If a woman wants to work full-time, whether or not she has kids, then that is awesome for her. If a woman wants to stay home with her kids, then that is wonderful too. I see so many people hating on stay-at-home moms for "lack of ambition," and so on. Working moms get hate too, I know. The world needs more amazing moms so why not support women who choose to stay home? Support women who have to work despite wanting to stay home. Support women who choose to work. If a woman tells you she doesn't want kids, then leave it at that. Being a mom and or CEO might not be for everyone and that is completely okay. If a woman wants to surgically alter her body or wear a butt-load of makeup, that's great, as long as it is on her terms. If a woman doesn't want to wear makeup or shave that's fine too. There are too many strictly cultural pressures that we need to get over.   

Now lets talk about that nasty slut/hoe/whore/bimbo. 

In high school people would say, "I hate so-and-so because she's a slut." Okay, but do you say that about men? I know a guy who's "number" is in the triple digits and even he once called a woman a whore *facepalm.* We have countless terms to define a woman who has multiple partners but no one says those things about men. We don't even have the words to do so. I thought society was growing past this slut-shaming point, but the other day I heard women, who consider themselves feminists, calling a certain woman a "gold digging whore." I don't care if someone has a different political view or lifestyle as you. If you say you support women then you can't pick and choose. You can't say you are "sex positive" and then call someone you may not like a whore. You can't have it both ways. Calling women prudes or criticizing them in that regard is also not okay. If a woman wants to sleep around, and does so responsibly, then hold your judgments. You don't believe in premarital sex? That's great. Then don't have premarital sex, just don't hate on someone who does. In addition to that, if a woman wants to wait till marriage, support her. It is really not that hard.    

In my opinion, I wish feminism was more like this (in addition to equality, etc.): If a woman is living her life to the best of her abilities, on her terms, not hurting anyone, and making decisions based on HER OWN reasoning then we need to support that. Her culture, sexuality, career, lifestyle, religion, race, appearance, reproductive choices, political opinion and so on should not effect your ability to stand with her.   

Lastly, I want to talk about subtle biases that I see come from people, even those who consider themselves open-minded and progressive. Gendered biases stemming from our cultural upbringing are sometimes hard to see and even harder to break. We are all guilty of making assumptions. Here are a few examples I've seen in my personal life. They are small. There are bigger problems in the world. I just want you (me too) to be more conscious in the way we think and speak about women. 

Telling a woman, "wow you have brains and beauty," is kind of sexist. You assume because she is attractive that she cannot also be intelligent. We don't have a phrase like that for men. I know when people say this they really mean no malice, but when you break it down, it's not a compliment. The assumption that pretty women hold no other merit is sexist. I see women (even the ones who think they are progressive) make harsh assumptions about other women based on appearance alone far too often. I wrote more in-depth on this topic last year here.  

Some of you may know I run an Instagram account for my dog. He gains hundreds of followers per week (despite that horrid algorithm) because people think his captions are funny. I cannot tell you how many people have assumed my dogs account manager was a guy. I get messages all the time where people ask if my husband runs his account and makes his captions. I do not get offended because they obviously don't realize they hold minor gender biases. According to society a blond with double D's is simply not capable of being clever on her own. Lastly, assuming that because I drive a truck that it must be my husband's is also a little sexist. If you ask me if you may borrow my husband's truck I will say no. He doesn't have a truck.  

Anyway, in honor of Women's Day please be aware of double standards, subtle gender biases, and non-feminism feminism. I know it is not intentional or malicious in most cases, but we can all be better.  

If you got through my rant, thank you. If you disagree with something let's kindly talk about it! I wrote this rather quickly and on a whim, so I may not have expressed my opinions very well and I would be happy to clarify anything.  

  







Monday, February 26, 2018

Beachbody Review

Hey everyone!

Things are going well in Utah. D loves his job and I still need one. So far I've done a little photography and loved every second of it. I really hope I can continue to do photos on the side. If you know anyone in the area who needs photos for bridals, engagements, maternity, family, senior, or whatever send them my way!

Because things have been a little crazy lately I haven't gotten around to writing a review for Beachbody on Demand! My dear friend Jade is a coach and wanted me to try the products and share my results. 

The product: 
-Beachbody is a workout program that you can do in the comfort of your own home. You can stream over 700 workout videos on your devices rather than use a DVD or go to the gym. 
-Shakeology is a superfood-packed protein supplement designed to deliver the nutrients you need to lose weight, reduce unhealthy cravings, and provide energy.

The pros:
Beachbody: Okay, so for those of you who feel nervous at the gym (like me!) this is an awesome product for you. The fact that you can choose which videos of hundreds you want to try is a huge plus. Finding a video that worked for me was no problem. I chose something light to get back into fitness slowly. I wasn't sure which would be best but Jade was very helpful and sent me in the right direction. I wanted something that required no weights or other equipment other than my own bodyweight. I also wanted something that emphasized flexibility. I had no problem filtering the results down to something that worked for me. The best thing about this program is that it is convenient to wherever you are, there is something for everyone of every fitness level, there are proven results (you obviously still have to work hard for those). Another good thing about the program is that there are several price points. If you want to start off with something simple, thats totally fine. This program really caters to your individual fitness, diet, and financial needs. If you have kids this program is super convenient because you workout whenever you want, at home, so you don't need to worry about finding child care. 
Shakeology: I got to try some samples of the chocolate protein and nutrient formula and I was pleasantly surprised! I have a vanilla protein that I have to choke down because it tastes like play dough. I've learned over the years it is extremely hard to find a decent tasting protein. I wanted to know what Shakeology tasted like prepared in the most simple form, so I just mixed it with water. Usually I try to mask the taste through baking or making smoothies. This one was really good as is! It was rich and significantly more enjoyable than the other mixes I have tried. If you just want something with nutrients that you can easily access every day then this is a good product to try. If it is great mixed only with water then it would be really good blended into a shake or smoothie.  

The cons:
Beachbody: Something I noticed that I had to be careful about with the videos I tested was that I live on the third floor of an apartment building. I have to be careful about doing anything that could disrupt my neighbor below. I had to be aware of the videos I selected and make sure there was no cardio type dance or jumping involved. Luckily I hate doing things like that anyway so I stuck to more pilates/yoga/simple body weight exercises. I know this won't be an issue for most people but it is something I noticed. In order to combat this issue I had the option to take my devices to the gym to stream videos there. Another con is that some people enjoy going to the gym for in person support and a sense of community. However, even though this is a product you do on your own, the Beachbody community is really big. You will have a coach checking in on you to make sure you're staying motivated and doing well! You can also join free online fitness groups run by the coach so you have a community motivating you every step of the way. I love following Jade on Instagram and watching her stories to get motivated and learn different tips/tricks. She is able to balance so much (35 weeks pregnant/family/a toddler/work/etc.)  and still get her workout in which definitely motivates me and others. 
Shakeology: I honestly can't think of anything I did not like with this product. It is definitely something I would add to my daily routine. For 160 calories you get 17 grams of protein, amino acids, vitamins, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and more. It's pretty awesome. I definitely need some more!  

Overall, Beachbody is a really amazing program in which tons of people benefit. Fitness is something that has always been important to me. I've tried many gyms, programs, classes, and so on, and this is one of the best and most convenient I've tried. If you are nervous to get into working out regularly this is a good place to start. You don't have to worry about leaving home to go to a gym. You don't need to worry about people judging you and you can pick a program specifically for you needs. I highly recommend reaching out to my friend Jade. You can find her on instagram: @jadealexanderfitness (Her Instagram links to her website)
email: jadealexander.editing@gmail.com 

Thank you for everything Jade!

I thought it would be appropriate to share some photos from the beach last month! My suit is ASOS here (Warning: these run very small and fit like a sports bra with no lining. It took me two returns to find one that fit), my shorts are a $5 TJ Maxx find, my shoes are from Off Saks, and my button down is Urban Outfitters. These were taken a few days before I cut off my hair and moved from Orlando to Utah. This was probably the last time I will be on a beach for a very long time. 

Amelia blaire blog

Amelia Blaire Blog

Amelia Blaire Blog

Amelia Blaire Blog

Amelia Blaire Blog

Have you tried Beachbody? If so, what do you think?

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Periods and the Menstrual Cup

Hey ya nasty,

If you are the "OMG T.M.I." kind of person then you might want to skip this one!

I woke up to my period today, but I don't mind.

I feel compelled to write a little bit about the dreaded,"menstrual cup" you all are hating on so hard. Here is my personal opinion and experience. I am not a medical health professional or expert on female menstruation so make sure to do your own research. If you're squeamish about blood and periods then leave now (or you could just get used to it because it is a natural process endured by most women).  

About two years ago I went through a phase where I got continuous UTI's during my period. This happened for about three months in a row before I realized that it could be pads and or tampons causing the irritation and bacteria transfer. I saw a Buzzfeed video about this weird bell-shaped cup and decided to do some research. All the comments were complaining about how disgusting the concept was, but I was intrigued. Easy on the environment, easy on the body, and easy on the wallet? What's not to love?

I read that the cup is made from medical grade silicone which means you can keep in in for 12 hours and you only have to replace it every decade or so. I read that you have virtually no risk for toxic shock syndrom even if you wear it all day. I also noted the major environmental and economical benefits to cutting out pads and tampons. I looked on Amazon and found the cup with the lowest price but highest reviews. The Diva Cup is the most popular but I chose another brand just because it was half the price. I didn't want to invest in the Diva Cup only for it to not be a good match for me. 

My first time with tampons was a nightmare. It took me a couple years to get used to them and even then I was never comfortable and they always ended up leaking. I understand that most people warmed right up to tampons and that's great. However I always found them to be uncomfortable. Pads are just as bad. You are basically sitting on a soggy, chunky, strip of diaper all day - and no one questions that. I am not talking about those cute little panty liners, I love those, I mean the big huge kind that essentially wrap around your entire front to butt crack.  Say goodbye to yoga pants if you want to wear a pad on a heavy-flow kind of day because you will look like a male ballerina. These two mainstream and commonly-accepted practices did not work for me. There would even be some days towards the end of a cycle where I would say eff it and just go all-natural because I was so sick of pads and tamps. Yeah... not the best idea if you want to maintain clean sheets, pants, and undies. It's never over when you think it is, am I right? 

Okay, so moving forward to the cup. I got mine in the mail, cleaned it off, and waited patiently for my next cycle. The time came and I read some tips and watched some youtube videos about how to use them properly. I folded it up, as recommended, to about the size of a regular tampon. I pushed it right in and at that point the cup unfolds to create a seal, catered to your unique shape. Everything felt fine. It felt like nothing at all. I waited throughout the day to see if anything changed in regards to comfort, but it did not. I admit I was afraid that my body would just suck it right up, never to be seen again, because there was no string. When I took my night-time shower I squeezed a bit as if I was trying to use the bathroom, pinched the little stem which scooted into my reach, and carefully pulled it out. I dumped whatever liquid accumulated throughout the day, rinsed it off in the shower, and put it right back in.   

My first experience went so well that I couldn't imagine doing it any other way. It has been about two years now and I have stained no bedding, no pants, and no underwear. I've never had an issue with leaking or discomfort either. Some people told me they are afraid to try because they don't want to change it out in a public bathroom. Here's the thing, you can wear the cup for twelve hours, so I promise that in that time you will find a private place to do so. I have never had that problem and I also read that some people keep it in for up to 24 hours. Sometimes during my cycle, I just change it once a day during my shower. It honestly makes it feel like I never even had a period in the first place. I don't mind getting my period anymore because I just forget about it. 

To this day my mom, friends, and sister still think I'm crazy and that the concept is gross. 

Just because something is new or different does not mean it is gross or stupid. 

I took a poll on Instagram and a vast majority of people thought it was gross. Okay that's fine. Periods are natural, but yes, they are a bit gross too and that's okay. But isn't a tampon gross too? It is a bleached, chemical ridden, cotton plug with a string, that fills with blood, you pull it out and then throw it away where it will end up in a landfill or the ocean forever. How is that not just as nasty, if not more gross, than a cup? Just because it is what you are used to does not make it any less gross. And let's talk about pads real quick. It is a strip of diaper for adults in which you sit in your own clots and blood for hours before it ends up in a landfill for eternity. I know there are probably some more options I am not familiar with, but these are by far the most common feminine hygiene products. Tampons have literally killed people before. Remember that. 

Here are some things people who have never tried it have said to me in response to the cup idea: 

1. It's too big
2. It's gross
3. I don't want to change it in a public bathroom

I remember as a kid people would tell me they hated sushi and that is was "gross." I would then ask if they ever tried it and 99% of the time the answer was "no," of course. This is how I see the menstrual cup haters. Let me now address these commonly heard criticisms. 1. It is no bigger than a tampon. You fold it up (look online for a video showing you how. I recommend the "C" fold) and push it in. Because it is silicone it glides right on up to where it needs to be. Any tampon bigger than super was too much for me and many people use super or bigger. This is nothing compared to that. 2. I believe it is not even close to as "gross" as a pad or tampon but you don't see that because those two methods are what you are used to. 3. Because you can wear it for so long at a time with no risk of getting sick, you can plan around public bathroom changes. Worst case, you can pull it out in your stall, dump it, and just pop it back in - but that is really not necessary.    


Benefits of the cup: 

1. It is a one-time purchase (Diva cup wants you to replace yearly but that is unnecessary. I don't blame them though because they need to make money somehow!)
2. It is environmentally friendly
3. You can wear it all day with no risk of dying
4. It is more comfortable than a pad or tampon
5. It is oder-free
6. It is virtually leak proof
7. It forms to fit your unique shape for ultimate protection
8. No harsh chemicals or bleach
9. You can use the same cup from your heaviest to your lightest days
10. No chafing from pads


Now that I've mentioned all the great things about it, I do have some negatives as well. I have a friend who gave it a try but said it didn't work for her because she felt it made her cramps worse. I did some research and found that, for some women, the way the cup pushes on your vaginal canal can enhance cramping. I was just happy she gave it a shot rather than snubbing the idea from the start. In all two years of use I had one experience where I put the cup in way too fast without taking the time to make sure it was inserted correctly. I felt a sharp pain below and realized the cup shifted sideways and was poking me. That was not fun, but I just ran to the bathroom, re-inserted it, and haven't had an issue since. You do have to boil the cup monthly to disinfect it. I use baking soda and it gets rid of the blood stains. Yes, it does stain over time, unfortunately. Lastly, I don't like how much I have to wash my hands when I change the cup in a bathroom. I wash before to avoid any UTI-causing bacteria, I wash after I pull it out to rinse it, I wash after I put it back in, and then when I'm all ready to go I wash one last time. Changing it in the shower lets me skip all that.

Based on the information above, before you immediately turn your nose up at this concept, give it a try! This product was a huge game-changer for me and my friends + family are sick of me raving about it. I have yet to convert a single person to this economical, environmental, and safe method of dealing with menstruation.  

If you want to try the one, I've been using for the past two years here you go! This one is the Blossom Cup and I adore it. You can pick between 12 colors and it is only $13.95. That is the cost of a month of tampons but it lasts for at least a decade. Read the reviews and decide for yourself if it is a viable option. The Diva Cup found here is more popular but costs a bit more at almost $30.

If you have one and love it let me know below. If you tried it and it didn't work for you also let me know!

Here is a photo from a shoot I did with Thread Attire! You can shop this look here!

Photo by Emily Arné
Outfit by Thread Attire
Hair by Gabby Tebbe
Makeup by Emily Walbeck 

(Image from Blossom Cup)








  

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Can You Still Look Good in Cheap Clothes?



Hey guys!

Did you know you can still look like a goddess in cheap clothes? I did. Which is why I've been a big supporter of Forever 21 for the past few years. It is very true that F21 sucked hardcore back in my high school days. They made flimsy clothes that were bright and tacky. It was known for having cheap clothes and it still is. My mom always called them "disposable clothes," which might have been true at one point, but has been far from my experience. Sure, we would go in high school for a fun outfit for a costume or for spirit week, but now F21 holds a whole new purpose for me.

The store itself stinks so bad. Like literally, the one at Tyson's Corner Mall smelled like fast food and trash. The store is huge, messy, overwhelming, and stressful. The checkout lines are often long, many of the sale clothes are damaged, and if you find something you like you better buy it because you will never find it again. So yes, Forever 21 is the worst! 

However, in my experience, if you shop online and wait for good sales on already-affordable clothes, you can have a good experience. Nothing I own from this store has fallen apart and all of it looks nice. I love telling someone I got something (for whatever crazy-low price) from Forever 21 when they expected something else. A few years ago F21 revamped their look and began offering thousands of modest, classic, and neutral-colored pieces. No more neon mini-skirts with cutouts and lace trim. I can honestly say I love this store (right now, at least).    

This black lace and nude bodysuit dress below can be found HERE
I got mine on an awesome buy-one-get-one sale, so in the end it was only about $7.50. You can get it now for about $27, which is still pretty awesome. When it came in the mail, I thought that the lace would feel flimsy and cheap. I am happy to announce I was so wrong. The lace is thick and luxurious, which causes it to hold a nice full shape. While the bodysuit beneath is not removable, it fits me so well. I don't know how to make it modest yet without serious alterations, so I used it on my sister instead. The only problem was that her butt was visible through the lace because the bodysuit fit her more like a thong. I paired the dress with some zip-up riding boots from Ariat. I've been wearing this style since I was a little kid for riding purposes. I think they look great outside of the barnyard too. You can find them here.  

Also note, these are my photos and I love them. I finally have a professional quality camera and lens. I know how to edit and I have a natural eye for composition. I hope you love them too and would allow me to shoot a personal, couple, or family portrait for you one day! Email me for rates or more info. 





















What is your experience with Forever 21? 



Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Update on Life


Welcome back,

So, quite a bit has changed since my last post on resolutions! 

Just a couple weeks ago, while living happily in Orlando, D got a job offer at a university in Utah. Hours following the call we packed our few things and got approved for an apartment in Layton. That was easy because we didn't have much with us in Florida (bikinis and shorts don't take up too much room). The next day we loaded our cars and drove to Virginia. We gathered up the rest of our material things from my parent's home, rented a tiny U-Haul trailer, booked a couple Airbnb homes, and left for Utah four days later. I drove my little Jetta with Pea riding shotgun and D drove the truck with the trailer. We got to Utah in three days with the help of Taco Bell, Burger King, Red Bull, and Subway. 

Now that we are here we are hunting down furniture and decor to outfit our tiny place. We are shopping exclusively on Facebook Marketplace and the local thrift stores. So far we've gotten a huge couch, a TV stand, a heavy wooden desk, a tall bookshelf, and end table for less than $90 total. Oh, and shame on all you people who never told me about Deseret Industries because I am obsessed!       

I still have no idea what I want to do but I need a job ASAP! For fun I definitely want to take photos and blog. However, another fake-blonde photographer/blogger is the dead last thing Utah needs right now, right? Could I be more basic? So far I've noticed the people are incredibly kind, the cost of living is low, scenery is beautiful, and the roads are pure 100% trash.  

In the photos below I'm in my mom's coat, my $12 DSW boots, and my faded old VS leggings. I linked the hat in my previous post. My friend B took these pictures so we could practice with my camera. The simpleton outfit was just what I happened to be wearing, as it was not meant to be a "look." It was below freezing and painful outside but the light was too pretty to let pass! Lastly, I've since chopped off about half of my hair's length and I love it both ways!

















Saturday, January 13, 2018

"New Year New Me"

Happy 2018!

People get pretty dramatic right before the start of a new year. "New year new me," type posts flood my Facebook and Instagram feed, and that's okay. But how often do people keep their goals? Do we need to wait till a certain date to begin to better ourselves? Gym attendance is sparse the last weeks of the year as opposed to January first. That is okay too. People want to be better and I respect that. I also don't mind the idea of setting a date to start a new habit if you have to. What I want to know is why we seldom follow through.

On December 31st 2015 I made a goal to read a book in 2016. I know you're judging me super hardcore right now but I need to share my dismal failure to maybe help someone else. I am not a reader and I never have been one. I intend fully to learn to enjoy books over time and I am working on it. Anyway, A week before the end of 2016 I still did not read a legitimate book (by legitimate I mean lengthy and dense). I grabbed "Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter," from D's bed side stand and took it on my trip to Arizona. I took it out on the plane, read a few words, and put it away. I decided to doodle instead. The week passed quickly and on December 30th I realized I had one day to fulfill my goal. I still put it off. By the time the ball dropped in Time's Square I completed one chapter. I put the book back in my bag never to be opened again.

At that point, based on my dreadful failure for 2016 I realized I needed new goals and I needed to take them seriously in order to better myself. In a small memo notebook (I always have one on me for lists, ideas, plans, etc.) I listed some resolutions for 2017. It consisted of healthy living, waking up early (lol), reading more, develop/strengthen talents, making a blog (hey!), and keeping a daily journal. 

As we now approach 2018 I wanted to evaluate my resolutions and see if I actually accomplished anything. In regards to eating healthy, working out, and waking up early, I did okay. I did not do great by any means though, especially the waking up early thing. I read nothing new (I know, I know...I'm the worst and it is very embarrassing). I did make a blog and I am glad I did. It is definitely off to a decent start and it has been a fun hobby. Finally, my goal to journal somehow took off and to my surprise I began to write daily. 

This is by far the resolution I am most proud of. It is the first new years goal I've ever made that I kept fully. I found a site online that offers journaling and the opportunity to print into a book at any time. I wrote a little bit about my day every single day of the year. I've always been obsessed with preserving memories in the form of photos, videos, writing, and more. Some days I wrote one sentence and some days I wrote multiple paragraphs. In January I plan to print my 2017-365 days of journaling into a book for my own reference and possible family history one day. Taking five minutes every day was enough to maintain this single goal. Even though my other goals faded off into the background, the feeling of achievement is totally worth taking my 2018 goals just as seriously. 

This year when you make your goals I would suggest making something manageable. Start small and work your way up. If the goal is too big then it is possible to become overwhelmed and quit early on. Either way, making a goal and having a mindset of personal progression is such a good quality. If you don't know what to do for your resolution I would recommend starting a journal. Even if you only write weekly or less, it is so nice to have as a reference for now and your future. There are so many free online journals you can access anytime on your devices. I use JRNL.com for mine because I like writing on my phone and the option to print a book. Another idea would be to eat less junk and move more. You don't need to say you have to workout every day and go vegan because that really isn't practical for most people. Make your goals realistic and try to keep at least one!

This year I want to better myself in skills and hobbies, speak and think more positively, become conversationally proficient in Spanish, live a healthier life (of course), blog weekly, and continue to journal daily. I also just added a little tab at the top of my blog for "Personal Styling," just to try something new and fun this year. Why not? What are your New Year's resolutions for 2018 or some past successes/failures? Let me know in the comments below!  

Here are a few photos from my trip back to Virginia for New Year's. My sister took them and they are the best photos she ever took by a long shot!

Oh, since this is a "fashion blog" let me mention my outfit pieces real quick. My leggings are from Pink and they have holes all over (even one on my butt). I've had them since I was 16. My coat was $7 at Forever21 and I have a post specifically about it from last year. My hat is from Lord and Taylor and it was a gift from my mom. It can be found here. It is too expensive for me but it was a gift. My shoes are from TJ Maxx and my local neighborhood Pit Bull ate one shortly after this photo. 


Miniature White Horse


White Miniature Horse


White Miniature Horse and Woman