Cinco de Mayo Must-Haves & Why Culture Impacts Style

cinco-de-mayo-party

Cinco de Mayo is this weekend! I never knew how big this day was until I moved to Texas. Similar to St. Patrick’s Day when everyone pretends to be Irish, the 5th of May is when everyone pretends to be Mexican. Dallas has Lord knows how many parties dedicated to the holiday, most of which revolve around tacos, guacamole, and fresh margaritas.

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Saturday David and I will be finishing our move and spending most of the day at the apartment getting stuff out (including hauling our old couch downstairs so someone can pick it up) and cleaning everything up. But in case you’ll be celebrating with a sombrero on your head or hosting a backyard shindig, I put together this visual guide for you.

I mean how cute are those margarita-inspired Soludos?! I thought they would be so festive paired with the top and shorts! One of my favorite things on here though, is that taco stand. I’m really considering ordering that, it would solve a lot of my food problems.

Why Culture Impacts Style

I never really thought much about why we wear what we wear. Why do I love espadrilles and leather riding boots? Why do I love plaid skirts and Fair Isle sweaters? It’s not just a matter of style preference, it’s something that draws me in and makes me excited to wear it! The fashion statements and trends that make their way down the runway are all inspired by cultures with interesting designs, patterns, and fabrics.

Cinco de Mayo is a prime example of how people embrace a culture’s customs and choice of dress and make it their own. I think that’s a trademark of style- you have to add small personal touches without compromising the integrity of the clothing.

This weekend when you see women sporting beautiful Mexican embroidery on their tops and dresses, think of the hundreds of years of tradition that inspired their style. Be thankful that we have choices in what we wear for every occasion!

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Body Positivity: What is it and How Do You Embrace it?

When I started writing this post I was angry at myself and angry at the company that sparked me to write it. I had ordered a pair of size medium shorts two weeks ago and was so excited when they were in my mailbox. I ripped open the bag and scurried into my bathroom to try them on. They didn’t fit. Not even close. The button was just not going to button and while the zipper zipped, it was uncomfortable. I was so upset that I cried.

How does one pair of ill-fitting shorts have such an impact on my mental and emotional health? Simple: Poor body image. I don’t like how I was put together and it’s obvious when I burst into tears over shorts! Let’s talk about body positivity.

What is Body Positivity?

Body positivity is when you’ve learned to accept everything about your body, flaws and all, and celebrate it for doing the amazing things it does. More importantly, it’s about being confident in your skin. 

As much as I’d love to make this a ra-ra I love my body post, it won’t be. Sorry! I wish I could truly love myself, fatty areas and all, I’m just not quite there yet. I’ve always looked at self-love as something for people who have either been through serious hardships and need to recover…. or really skinny, pretty women. Neither of which is accurate, anyone can practice self-love. I just never viewed it as something for me.

The last few months have been particularly hard on my mind and body. I’ve been dealing with depression episodes (more about that here) and I’ve had to stop exercising because of inflammation in my hip.

Luckily, I’ve been able to keep the weight off from my inactivity and even drop a few pounds- 8 to be exact. This brings me to a bigger challenge I’ve recently faced- how is it possible that I’m thinner than I was at the start of the year and my size 8 shorts are snugger than ever before? Like I said, challenges like these make body positivity incredibly difficult!

How Do You Embrace it?

This is something I’m desperately trying to figure out. How do you embrace your body for what it is and love it? I’m annoyed with my body that it’s shifted weight around so much that things I used to slip on with no problem are now snug. Um no! Not what I was envisioning when I ate a salad every day for lunch.

So, I don’t have all the answers on embracing your body and being positive about it but, my mom said something interesting to me this morning. She said she’s been working on having a positive outlook on life and its really improved her mental and even physical health. Could it be that just adjusting how I view my life in general could have an impact on my physical health? It just might.

Instead of trying to force myself to do a 180 in terms of how I view my body, maybe I (and you) should start with just being positive about life! Is that so crazy? I don’t think so. Maybe that’s step one on the road to positive body image.

 

 

Mother’s Day Post: Why I Call My Mom Everyday

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I looked at my calendar for the month of May and realized Mother’s Day was quickly approaching! I’m really close with my mom and love being able to spoil her with nice things here and there. She’s the type that doesn’t like to spend money on herself so when I get the chance to buy her something pretty, I take it! Hint: I may or may not have already gotten her something off this list! 

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A lot of people ask me why I’m so close with my mom or why we talk everyday- it’s because I love her! But I was also homeschooled most of my childhood and that definitely fostered a closer relationship with my mom than if I had been in school. Since moving away from my hometown in Maryland, keeping that closeness has gotten harder but we still have it thanks to FaceTime and phone calls!

Calling her every day makes it feel like I’m not so far from home and that I still have a hand in things going on. I love hearing about what our pets are up to or who my mom ran into at the grocery store or what new restaurant is being built. It’s just nice to keep up with all of the hometown happenings.

My mom is also one of the best listeners ever. I can ramble on about nonsense for an hour and she’ll still be listening. I’m a high anxiety girl, so being able to share my worries and fears with someone who knows me better than anyone is such a relief. She’s not only my mom but also my therapist!

What to Get Your Mom This Mother’s Day

Like I said earlier, being able to get my mom nice things is one of my biggest joys in life. She deserves so much more than anything I can give her but it’s the gesture that counts right? I was digging around for some pretty things online for Mother’s Day gifts and everything was quite pricey (girl on a budget here!) so I filtered out anything over $75 and these cute things came up! I’m loving the satin sandals and monogrammed clutch the most!

Let me know what you’re getting your mom for Mother’s Day!

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The Pinkest Bathroom You’ll Ever See (and design ideas)

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Hey everyone! Some of you may or may not know, but David and I have been in the process of moving to a new place! It’s still in Dallas, just a little bit outside of the city near White Rock Lake.  Our apartment was just getting too small for us but we still aren’t ready to buy a home, so we found a cute duplex to rent for another year or so!

It’s an older home built in the 1960s and I can’t get over how well its been cared for and all the retro vibes! I’ll be showing you photos of the whole house later, however take a look at my new bathroom! My ten year old self is over the moon with this very pink bathroom but my adult self is a little shocked by it. When we signed the lease I kept thinking “how am I going to make this color work?” Then my coworker suggested I embrace the very pink tile and go for a vintage Miami look! And that’s what I’m doing!

If you scroll through the widget above, you’ll kind of get a feel for the look I’m going for. I already bought the adorable Lauren Conrad “Wing It” bath rug because I couldn’t resist! The banana leaf shower curtain is going to be hard to find for under $100. Who knew shower curtains could get so pricey!? I’m also searching high and low for some cute, cheap artwork of Miami. I’d love to find some old New Yorker magazine or Vogue covers to frame for the wall.

I’m really excited to start redesigning this space! At first, I was so overwhelmed by it but now I’m absolutely in love with it! Comment with any design ideas you have, I’d love to hear them!

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4 Ways You Can Be MORE Financially Responsible

I was chatting with someone the other day about furniture shopping and home design. We both have expensive taste and certainly enjoy the finer things in life. She was about my age and income level so I figured we both got our inspiration at Restoration Hardware but shopped at Target for home decor. She pulled up this gorgeous set of nightstands she wanted to buy for her bedroom – the price tag was around $500 for each. I assumed she was just doing a little dreaming, but she had plans to purchase soon. This got me thinking, am I the odd one out when it comes to how I spend my money?

Talking About Spending Habits

Everyone is entitled to spend their money how they see fit. And admittedly, sometimes I wish I could just drop some cash and buy the things I really want! But I just can’t, my common sense won’t let me. I think our spending habits and financial management comes from our life lessons and what our parents taught us. My parents hate credit cards and try to pay them off as soon as they can. I have an equal aversion to them. So let’s approach financial responsibility from a fresh perspective!

Don’t Buy a New Car

It always makes me scratch my head when people by brand new cars. While some cars retain their value fairly well, most do not. If you can afford to make it rain money, then enjoy! However, when you’re saddled with student loan debt and other expenses, it just makes more sense to find a used car in good condition that’s affordable. I for one, do not like having a car payment!

My future sister-in-law was getting rid of her old SUV and she sold it to me for $500. Why was it so cheap? It needed a new engine. So all in, I paid a little over $4000 with repairs and engine work. Is it my dream car? NO. But, I’m saving for that!

Live on 2/3

Many people live paycheck to paycheck. Sometimes this is unpreventable. However, for many people including myself, living paycheck to paycheck is by poor money management. When we’re spending every dollar that comes in, of course our paychecks are going to seem small and money will seem tight! Many financial experts advise that we should live on 2/3 of our income and save the rest. Which brings me to my next point.

Pad Your Savings Account

When our paychecks drop, 1/3 of that money automatically goes into our savings account. We don’t even miss it because it wasn’t in our checkings to begin with. Whether its $100 or $1000 that goes into your savings account every month, it all adds up! Having a healthy savings account has been important to David and I for awhile. We both grew up in homes where it would be hard to pay for an emergency car repair. We are bound and determined not to have that problem!

Meal Prep

If you go out everyday to grab lunch, then you’re doing it wrong! I love a yummy lunch out to break up the monotony of my work day, however the cost and calories keep me from doing so. Instead, I use my trusted Crockpot to meal prep for the entire week! This saves me at least $50 every week, so roughly $200 a month.

My favorite thing to throw in the Crockpot is a mix of corn, black beans, rice, lentils, chicken broth, a few spices, and chicken. You can make a ton of it and then freeze for later!

If this was helpful for you, please share with friends! If you have additional advice, I’d love to hear it!