FOREVER 21

12th and Fig

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My Beautycon Day 1 look. As I was getting some outfit pics in I was ambushed my a tall, foreign athlete. I'm not complaining but I wish "whoa you're tall" wasn't the only thing that came out of my mouth. LOL.

bodysuit: forever 21 "off the shoulder bodysuit" in ivory
skirt: forever 21 (sold out), similar here
shoes: dolce vita "hendrix studded sandals" in smoke suede
sunnies: zerouv "style c437-04" in blue blue
purse: rebecca minkoff "mini suki crossbody" navy is sold out, additional colors here
earrings: forever 21 "flat bottom hoop earrings" in silver
necklace: mejuri "evil eye necklace" in sterling silver

**also I've been playing around with Lightroom lately and OMG I'm obsessed.

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How Do You "Single"?


Dear Single Girls Everywhere,

How do you single?

From,
Newly Single


About four months ago, I really started embracing my “single” status, going out (for those of you who know me IRL you know I go out maybe once every other month at the coercion of my best friend Anelisse) and really trying to be open to meeting new people. I honestly thought this being single thing was gonna be hard. Let’s face it, it’s not like I’m super young anymore and I need to be particular about who I chose to spend my time with.

On the three occasions that I went out, each time I met a guy. All three were very different but one thing was the same, for some reason each time I had gone out I had worn my yellow leather jacket from Zara. My girlfriends say that it’s such a statement piece that I stand out. It’s like my bright yellow jacket was all the confidence I needed to navigate this scary new world of dating. I had no idea how to go about this. I was in a long term relationship and all my close girlfriends were either in longer term relationships, engaged and married with or without children so I had no one to ask for advice on dating in this new world of dating apps.

I decided maybe I’ll give this dating app thing a try and decided to download Bumble. I refuse to use Tinder, I feel like it's a breeding ground for rapists and murderers, ha. I like how Bumble gives the woman an upper hand and they have to be the one to initiate the conversation. I had Bumble for about two days (and to be fair, I wasn’t doing the Bumbling… my phone was being passed around between two of my girlfriends and they were swiping left or right for me). After two days of using this app I got really freaked out and completely deleted the entire thing. I have this huge fear that I’ll go meet one of these guys I got matched with on Bumble and never come home because I’ve been kidnapped, my organs have been harvested and I’m left for dead in some sketchy alley way. Morbid I know but, I grew up in the MySpace era and watch way too much Law and Order and Criminal Minds.

About a month later, I decided to give this Bumble thing another go. And boy did I get lucky (or so my naive little self thought). A profile of a guy came up and his first photo was of him sitting on a swing in the ocean of a tropical destination. First thing that popped into my head was “Okay, this guy likes to travel...this could work.” I’m a huge fan of traveling and discovering new places so I already knew we had one thing in common. Pushing my dating app fears aside I sent him a message, that message turned into a pretty damn good conversation, which turned into exchanging numbers and eventually led to me (yes, me… again at the coercion of my friend Anelisse) asking him out for drinks. I’m a pretty social and outgoing person with people who know me, but with a complete stranger who I’ve never met, this was a big deal. He said yes. We went and got dinner and drinks on Thursday. Had our second date that following Saturday and our third the next day on Sunday.

Normally, I'm an extremely guarded person. There are VERY few people I feel comfortable opening up to or sharing details of my life with. But for some reason, in this instance, none of my walls were up. It’s insane how quickly I was able to open up and feel comfortable with him. Like I said, I’m usually an extremely guarded person, (I’ve been through my fair share of “life-changing” events, so it’s just the way I’m wired) so for me this was a rare occurrence. But something about him made me feel like I’ve known him for years, not for a little over a week or a four-day span if you’re counting from the moment we met in person but for a while. In that small span of time I’ve really found myself doing things I normally wouldn’t do, embracing a new me (we even went on a weekend getaway together). Going for things I want, without fear of the unknown.

We dated for a little over a month and I thought things were trending in the right direction but one morning I woke up with a strange pit in my stomach, like something was wrong. After talking with my friends about it, they assured me it was just me thinking worst case scenario again and there was no factual evidence to back up the way I was feeling. So, I kept going, relishing in every moment I spent with him. But one night, out of the blue, I got a text message from him breaking things off. I was completely blindsided. I felt like an idiot. For those of you who watch Sex and the City, in that moment I felt like Carrie did when Burger ended things on a post it that said "I'm sorry, I can't. Don't hate me." (clip below) I feel like I would have preferred a post it. There and to the point, not some excuse filled, drawn out text message which ended in the three same words that Burger's post-it did "don't hate me." I feel like those three words are such a cop out. I consider myself to be a pretty smart person but in that moment, I felt like the stupidest person alive. I'm so upset with myself for not trusting my gut instinct. For allowing myself to trust a stranger so easily. For sharing bits of me, I normally wouldn't. If I were a child in this instance, I would have totally gone into the back of the "ice-cream man's" truck for free ice cream. As much as I want to throw myself a pity party I just have to remember... "Life is tough, my darling, but so are you." - Stephanie Bennett Henry.

In this moment when I feel like breaking down, I'm lucky to have friends to remind me that I am not broken and that I am tough. That I am an intelligent person, with a kind and loving heart. That I'm fiercely loyal and that I am deserving of someone who doesn't take the cowards way out. To my friends, thank you, I love you.

For all the other women out there, standing in similar shoes to mine. Take the risk, find your bliss because you’ll never know what you can discover if you don’t. Even if it ends in heartbreak and disappointment, take it as a learning exercise. I know it's so much easier to preach as opposed to follow (because I currently don't even fully believe these words) but you have to take the risk because without it, there is no reward. To my fellow single ladies, treading these unknown waters... We'll figure it out and for those instances that don't end well, well that's what girlfriends and ice cream are for.


swim: isabella rose swim "osaka one-piece" in multi/white
shorts: forever 21 (sold out), similar here
hat: whim things "custom felt fedora hat" in beige tan
sunnies: zerouv "women's retro 1950s round cat eye sunglasses a801" in clear silver orange yellow
photo: CS

My Journey With Anxiety

Dear Me,

I don’t know how to tell you this but you’re a major stress ball with a lot of anxiety. I know the word alone makes you anxious. Let’s talk about your anxiety and what happens when it does kick in.

From,
Me


I feel like I’ve been dealing with anxiety forever. I was officially diagnosed with anxiety in 2006, my first year in college. I notice as I get older it gets worse and worse. Nowadays I try and avoid situations that make my anxiety worse, however I’m not always able to. I think in my college days, I would just drink to cope with the massive amounts of social anxiety I would get, which would lead to several blacked out nights. That was college Jen. Let me also add, one of the worst social anxiety black outs I experienced also led to me getting my grandmother’s vintage Louis Vuitton purse stolen. Yup... It was a bad night.

There are 6 different situations in which I notice my anxiety is starting to take control of my life.

1.     Avoiding social situations
I don’t know exactly when I started avoiding social situations altogether, but it’s something my friends do bring up quite a bit. In college I was someone who was always down to go out, take shots and party until the sun came up. But now days, I don’t even bother trying to come up with a creative excuse. I’ll literally tell someone I’d rather be in bed, Netflix-ing with wine and a bag of hot cheetohs. On the occasion that I do end up “out”, I’ve mentally prepared for at least two weeks. My girlfriends are really good about sending me calendar invites weeks before a big night out so it’s on my radar and I have enough time to put my party pants on. Gosh, how lame do I sound?! Recently, my social anxiety has gotten better. I’ve been the one texting my friends, trying to plan nights’ out so I thought I was slowly overcoming this. However, last week at a blogger brunch, my anxiety kick in bad. I found myself just very out of place, very quiet and getting really nervous. Which I find to be really odd. I think attending blog events really helped my social anxiety, it put me in situations where I needed to put myself out there and really make an effort to engage with others. But hey, I’m only human... I have my good days and my bad.

2.     I lose my voice and become mute
Even though blog events and networking has really helped me overcome my fear of public speaking and large social settings, sometimes these environments get the best of me. When that happens I can feel myself shrinking, getting smaller and smaller and I just shut down and stop talking. This is still something I am navigating; I haven’t quite figured out how to snap myself out of it when this happens. I tend to just excuse myself and go home. Although this isn’t the best way to remedy this situation, it’s the only thing I have found that slowly snaps me out of it. I’m still working on this day in and day out.

3.     Overanalyzing anything and everything
When my brain goes into overdrive and my anxiety comes at me in full force, I overanalyze anything and everything. Why did this person use an exclamation point and not a period? Why haven’t they texted me back? Oh my gosh, they hate me. What did I do? Maybe I should have said this or that. I was recently talking with a girlfriend of mine and she put things into really great perspective for me. What you are overanalyzing, is it a fact or a feeling? If it’s a feeling that’s fine because you can feel the way you feel but unless you know it’s 100% fact don’t stress over it. I know, I know, it’s a lot easier said than done but unless you know something is 100% happening or gonna happen no use giving yourself an anxiety attack over it.

4.     Thinking the world is going to end (not literally, but my brain always goes to worst case scenario)
I think this ties into how I over analyze, but in addition to over analyzing my brain goes to worst case scenario. When that happens, check yourself. This isn’t Armageddon… the world isn’t gonna end. Sometimes I forget how strong I really am. I’m a child of divorce, struggled with bullying and some other things I am not so proud of…so I had to grow up strong, really depend on myself and my choices. Yes, there have been some hiccups here and there but I think I’ve done pretty well for myself and am extremely proud of the person I am. Whatever bad comes, I need to remember that I will survive it.

5.     I eat anything and everything
I am an emotional eater. When I’m sad, I eat a pint of ice cream, an entire bag of hot cheetohs and can probably chow down about 3 cupcakes. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an emotional connection to food. When something good happens you go out to a fancy dinner and drink to celebrate. When you experience a heartbreak you curl up on the couch with your bestie and go through a lot of Ben and Jerry’s. I hate how food controls my life, especially because I don’t work out. If anyone has any tips on how to break this emotional connection to food… I’m all ears!

6.     I’m mentally and physically exhausted
There are days where I feel just drained. Like I’ve been put through the ringer, been hit by a bus and just been told that I’ve failed at life. I hate this part of anxiety because it makes me feel worthless and for someone who really values their worth, this feeling sucks. The feeling that you can’t do anything right, the feeling where you’d rather stay in bed than face the day. I haven’t experienced very much of this lately but when I do I hate it. I think it’s important to surround yourself with people who continuously uplift you and also find something that makes you happy. I’m lucky enough to have a really close group of girlfriends who have known me for long enough to know that when I get into one of these mental exhaustions they very bluntly tell me to snap out of it, no sugar coating allowed. I also have found some activities that put me in “good moods” and make the day cycle through pretty quick. As cheesy as it sounds, go find your bliss. Do what makes you happy. Anything that stresses you out or gives you anxiety is not worth it. These two things will help snap you out of your mental and physical exhaustion and make you really happy that you’ve carpe’d that diem.

Although I have yet to find the solution to tell my anxiety to kick rocks, slowly but surely I’m finding things that help ease me out of it. You just need to remember to let yourself know that you are strong and you will survive whatever comes.


top: forever21 "mesh fringe sleeved top" in black
jeans: topshop "coated jamie" jeans in black
jacket: zara "metallic biker jacket" in dark silver
shoes: steve madden "paiton" in tan nubuck
photos: photobyvincent

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