I literally cannot

Have you ever said that? “I literally cannot.” I have. Plenty of times, actually. It’s become quite a bit of a catch phrase when people do things that are ridiculously hard to believe or imagine. Or when a situation arises that I just can’t deal with at the moment (or ever, for that matter). I literally cannot. As if to say this is beyond all comprehension and I just can not spend another moment on it.

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Well in those settings, I think the statement works. It’s more of an expression than a true declaration. However, in others it may be more of an issue than you would think. How so? Well, what we tell ourselves is usually what we in fact do. And when you speak to yourself negatively (silently or out loud, who am I to judge lol), you could in fact be self-sabotaging your efforts. There are have been scientific studies that suggest our language actually shapes the way we think, and that our sub conscience really does follow the things that we say. Therefore, it’s reasonable to conclude that our words really do carry a certain amount of weight. They have power. Actual, factual power. Tell yourself you’re smart and find a way to figure it out. Tell yourself you’re stupid and chances are…

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All jokes aside, though. This is serious business. By this line of reasoning, we really have the ability (and responsibility) to tell ourselves wonderful, beautiful things. In a world where there are literally thousands upon thousands of things that we have absolutely no control over, this is not one of those things. We can absolutely control what we tell ourselves each and every single day. And in that moment, we determine how things are going to be.

Ever heard the expression “the words you speak will be the house you live in”? Well apparently it’s true. And when responding to the question of “What would make you happy?” WebMD says “A new wardrobe, a faster car, moving to a different city? People often think these things are the key to feeling good, but experts say only about 10% of a person’s happiness is related to them.giphy Much more happiness — 90% — has to do with your general outlook on life. You can learn a lot about your own worldview by paying attention to “self-talk” — the conversation you have in your head about yourself and the world around you. Even more important, changing how you talk to yourself can actually help shift your perspective, too.”

But is a shift in perspective merely just looking at life through rose-colored glasses? Is it a lie to yourself method that just makes everything seem better when it really isn’t? Critics say no. The effects are real and not just some placebo pill to sugarcoat the awfulness. In fact, Psychology Today makes this interesting analysis:

Positive self-talk is not self-deception.  It is not mentally looking at circumstances with eyes that see only what you want to see.  Rather, positive self-talk is about recognizing the truth, in situations and in yourself.  One of the fundamental truths is that you will make mistakes.  To expect perfection in yourself or anyone else is unrealistic.  To expect no difficulties in life, whether through your own actions or sheer circumstances, is also unrealistic.

When negative events or mistakes happen, positive self-talk seeks to bring the positive out of the negative to help you do better, go further, or just keep moving forward.  The practice of positive self-talk is often the process that allows you to discover the obscured optimism, hope, and joy in any given situation.

– Psychology Today

Optimism, hope, and joy. What a powerful combination. You know, in the opening pic I was really going for a super fly extended stretch on my tippy toes. Didn’t quite make it, but it was a fun attempt. I laugh now, because the shirt I was wearing at the time says “I literally cannot.” And I’m pretty sure that’s what I was thinking – there’s no way I can do this. Now I wonder if that had anything to do with my failed attempt to get the perfect shot. Considering my balance and the way my equilibrium is set up, probably not. But still… it gives me pause.

So then, what’s the conclusion of the matter? All things being considered at the end of the day? Stop talking down to yourself. Stop being so negative. Yes, things go wrong and yes, we make mistakes. Yes, Mondays are Mondays and sometimes it rains. And yes close friends hurt our hearts and we lose people in death. But the choice is always the same, regardless of the situation – what shall we say to ourselves in the early morning when we just awake? How you answer that question can truly can be the difference between a good day, and a bad day. And with the way this world is currently set up, we can use all the good days we can get.

xoxo,
La.

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Who is your stylist? 5 quick fashion tips

“Who is your stylist?” Four little words I always love to hear. Whether it’s out on the streets, or in my inbox – I love when another feels comfortable enough to say “hey girl, hey! You look cute!” Thank you, boooo, I do try! And guess what? I’ll usually tell you where I got it from… usually.

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Ok no for real, I’ll tell ya! In fact, I promise I’ll do better adding some of my favorite finds and retailers to the blog, especially those who cater to my curvy ladies. But today I’ll quickly share a few of my tips to keep my closet on the ready. Ready? Bet…

1.Catch the sale.

So even though I was the lamest of the lames this Black Friday and bought nothing, and I do mean nothing (a girl was on a mission), I usually LOVE a good sale. Especially when I know what I am looking for. There were so many great deals I saw this year, and I did my due diligence in forwarding on an email or two when it came thru the inbox. Sales are awesome because money is funny and who doesn’t love a good deal? If I can get something for 30%, 40%, even 50% off – I am totally down for the cause. Of course, the item needs to be something you 1) actually can use in my wardrobe and 2) actually can afford. If neither of the two apply, skip it girl. There will be others…

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2. Keep the receipt.

So, I am that girl who at any random moment has a few items in the closet with tags still attached. What?? Fight me. See #1. It was probably on sale and my wardrobe could use it. Perhaps I just didn’t have the event yet. Maybe it was the last ribbed sweated in my size and I couldn’t leave it in good conscience. Who knows? The point is, at some point and time I grabbed it and when I get the call to make that last minute grand opening, ya girl has a gown just waiting in the wings. Buuuttt in the event that call never comes, or my workouts are on point and I just dropped a size, I have no problem making a return. Oh I keeps the receipts! Look… sometimes it just doesn’t work out and we can’t go together. So, no bad feelings. It’s me, not you. But you can’t stay. It’s been real.

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3. Reuse and re-purpose.

I am not a celebrity. And more importantly, my account is not a celebrity. So if you like those denim jeans you saw me in last week, that’s great! You’ll probably see me in in them again next week. Oh I will re-use an item in a minute. Clean it, iron it, put it back in the closet! I know we live in the world of Instagram and TMZ, where everything is photographed and posted for the world to see, but let’s be realistic. I live in New York and my closet is like 5 inches long. We must do repeats. And don’t be afraid to re-purpose as well! That cute dress hanging in the pic doubles as my headwrap on a chilly day. If it works, it works!

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4. Splurge on the classics.

Trends come and go, but classics last forever! Keep that in mind when you’re deciding how much to spend on that glittery leopard sweatshirt. Just saying – consider the staying power and what it’s worth to you. I rather spend on a few good pencil skirts and blazers if I know I’ll be rocking them for quite some time. Not that I won’t rock cute a fashion nova set if it’s in budget, but I’ll save the splurge for items that can take me into next year.

5. Mix and match.

Black on black on blaackk. Yes, I like black too. But don’t be afraid to step out there. Polka dots. Stripes. Prints. Colors. Once you allow yourself the freedom to be creative, your current wardrobe may expand before your eyes. Mix and match the separates you have. Tie everything today with a sweater or a scarf. Think layers. Nothing dresses up and old item like a new one! So take a chance and mix it up. You’ll be surprised how cute it could be.

6. Shoes matter.

Please, please, please don’t ruin a great outfit with a bad shoe. I know, shoes can be expensive but they don’t have to be. That’s why you should refer to #1 and #4. A few good pairs of pumps can go with almost anything! Heels not your things? No problem, get some great flats that are comfortable and stylish. And try them on first – not all sizes are created equal. C’mon Cinderalla… don’t forget your slipper 🙂

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What are some of your favorite fashion tips? Do share! I’ll be adding more ideas to the blog and who knows – I may just include one of your suggestions (with credit, of course!) Do share!

xoxo,
La

Forget the mistake. Remember the Lesson.

I make a lot of mistakes. Like, a lot. Sometimes big, sometimes small, always wrong. Mistakes in money, mistakes in friendships… according to my stomach, that salted caramel shake last night was definitely a mistake. Like… they are endless. But guess what? I survived each one, and I’ve learned my lesson. And that is the key. Every. Single. Time.

Continue reading “Forget the mistake. Remember the Lesson.”

Live. Your. Life.

So get this… everybody has dreams right? At some point in their life, young or old, rich or poor, happy or sad – everyone has had a dream. A goal. A wish. An idea of how “x” would be if “y” happened. So what happened? What thing occurred (or didn’t occur) that caused “y” not to happen. When did the dream die?

Continue reading “Live. Your. Life.”

Ditch the Gloomies: 6 Ways to Brighten a Bad Day

So you know how you when you walk into a bathroom stall, you’re supposed to make sure the door is locked so that the next person doesn’t open said door wide as all outside to catch a full frontal of you, pants at ankles, nonchalantly seated, scrolling on your phone? Yea… it’s been that kinda day.

Continue reading “Ditch the Gloomies: 6 Ways to Brighten a Bad Day”

5 Ways to Jumpstart Your Morning

So mornings, in general, are hard. That’s not a question, just a fact of life. Waking out of a lovely slumber to force yourself to start a new day can be difficult. But, what’s the alternative? Not waking up? Yea, I’ll take the alarm clock for 200, please.

So the question, then, is how to make this most necessary task less task-like. The internet and self-help aisle abound with hundreds of ideas and routines to get your mind and feet in total harmony come sunrise. But who has time for all of that? We’re just trying to wake up here! No need to fret, lovelees – I’ve reviewed the masses and threw in a few of my own to bring you my favorite 5 for your breakfast-skipping pleasure (wait – you probably don’t want to skip breakfast unless your doing intermittent fasting) . Hopefully you’ll find a few new ideas to ease that transition from sheet to street.

Continue reading “5 Ways to Jumpstart Your Morning”

Cause it’s Monday…

Blah, blah, blah… it’s done.

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As I lay on my living room floor, sweaty, tired, bloated from too much sodium during my weekend of “I obviously forgot I’m in training “… I barely eek out this post to encourage someone to get up – no for real, get up- and do it.

I don’t know what it is but whatever it may be, get it done. Go to that gym, make that call, offer that apology, climb that mountain… whatever. If I  had to slink myself into spandex and lycra to swing a 40lb kettle bell 50 times, then you too have to do that thing.

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OK, I think that’s all for now. I have to crawl to the shower….

La.

PS- don’t forget to go do the thing…now.

On the way to the gym….

So I was scared. Or maybe like anxious, a bit more than nervous, definitely uneasy. I had shadowed Patrice for the past two months as an internship was the last step to finally complete the qualifications for my Personal Trainer certification. So I knew her. I knew her workouts. Shoot, I helped teach and coach her workouts. But I wasn’t a client. At least not yet. Not until now. Now, I would be on the receiving end of those “keep going, butt down, c’mon don’t stop, work, work!” So yea, I’m not gonna lie. I was scared. Or, maybe like anxious. A bit more than nervous, definitely uneasy.

I’ve had trainers before. More than a few. Ones I remember more interested in taking me out than working me out, one that pushed me so hard I threw up in the locker room and could barely walk for two days, one that made me feel like I was wasting my time and my money… just never a great fit. And although I knew Patrice was an excellent trainer, I’d put her more in the “throwing up in the locker room” category (sorry, P!). She was tough. And even though I work hard and am very dedicated, I have weak forearms and weigh 240lbs. I have hips, curves, tummy, and booty and although I can style and clothe this body of mine like nobody’s business, fashion doesn’t exactly equal success in the gym. In the gym, every roll, jiggle, and bounce would work against my jumps, sprints, and lifts. And I thought about all of that on my way to the gym.

But on the way I continued. Taking my fear and stuffing it into my gym bag, I stepped up in there like I was born to sweat (knowing good and well I tossed and turned the entire night before).

And Patrice kicked my tail.

No, for real. It was brutal. Pound for pound, she made a big girl work. Jumps, squats, dumbbells, running, it was not a game. And like I said – I’m not new to working out! But this was a bit different. Not harsh, or mean,  but tough. Really tough.  I thought I was prepared  but the truth is when you’re  you’re never really prepared. Never really ready. You just have to decide you want to be better, and go forth in that direction. One foot in front of the other, come what may. Once you make that decision, that no matter what happens, you will conquer this task, climb that mountain, whatever is it is – then you move. You jump. You squat. You climb. You cry. You run. But you move. And move is what I did. For that hour and 18 minutes, yes I counted, I moved. And it was hard, and it was grueling, but I did it. Then the day after that, I did it again. And then a few days later, I was back again. And that was almost three weeks ago. Yea… I’m kinda proud.

 

 

 

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Pepper in the Eyeball… no bueno

Soooo… there was this girl I knew (not me) who was making tacos for her sister and her (not me) for lunch. And… (not me) she cut up tomatoes, avocado, lime, cheese, and peppers. Hot peppers. Really, really, like really hot peppers. And the tacos were delicious. And then her eye started to itch. So, like a normal person she scratched it (not me). And then the fire came. Like 5-alarm, call the men w the truck and the ladder, somebody please put me out my her misery, if I’m going to go blind just get it over with already, fire. And to make matters worse, my her sister was doubled over in uncontrollable laughter even though the only reason I was there (yea, charade is up) was to take care of her in the first place. Family… Continue reading “Pepper in the Eyeball… no bueno”

11/30 to be a dreamer (National Poetry Month Challenge)

when your dreams are so big they seep into the daylight
sometimes it’s hard to sleep
stay grinding
stay hustling
stay working
stay moving
stay sister, daughter, cousin, auntie, friend
and hold a spot for lover, mother, wife
this life is not for that faint of heart

to be a dreamer…
burning that midnight coconut oil
(cause hair gots to stay fly)
don’t lose sight of your goals, girl
you smile
you cry
you pray
you laugh
you scream
there’s always room at the bottom

…but that top is mean

when your dreams are so big they seep into the daylight
sometimes it’s hard to sleep.

la.