Getting My Glam On!

I am over-the-moon excited! My bedroom sanctuary is finally coming together. I was able to find the perfect bedspread to replace my Nicole Miller Peacock bedspread. It’s the beautiful, watercolor comforter below. It’s so peaceful to walk into my bedroom and see the colors splashed across my cool blue, serene room.

Nicole Miller

My next goal was to create a beautiful makeup vanity area where I could sit and peacefully apply my makeup. I had part of my setup established when I found a beautiful mirror from Pier One on clearance. I had been eyeing this mirror for over a year but with a pricetag close to $200 I knew it was not in the stars for me. Imagine my surprise when I was able to score this beauty for only $60 on clearance!

Pier 1 mirror

As soon I as I got my new mirror home, I immediately set up my glam space. Since I do not currently own a vanity, I used a sketchy old folding table and covered it with a white tablecloth and my room was instantly upgraded to swaged out. I was on the hunt for a vanity and had my heart set on the Malm Dressing Table by Ikea because of its clean lines and glass top. Once I got to the Ikea, however, I knew that I was not interested in forking over more than $180 on a pressboard vanity that would probably not make it through the year.

Since I believe the Universe provides what you intentionally set your mind on, I begin to set out to find a beautiful mirrored desk. Could you actually imagine my surprise when I learned that Walmart sold mirrored desks that were highly rated! While there, I noticed was selling a mirrored table for $40 less than Walmart and included free shipping so I immediately pointed my computer mouse to the site. On the front page was this gem!



OMG!  The mirrored furniture was on sale!!!  Long story short, I was able to get a beautiful, wood mirrored table with faux crystal knobs for $177.


 I have not been able to find a table of this size, quality and price for the two years that I’ve been searching this vanity.  The vanity is about the same price I was planning to spend at Ikea but it is made of a much more high quality wood, is built to last, and looks amazingly beautiful.  It’s highly rated and I can’t wait to put my space together.  I will certainly keep you posted on the development of my girly, glam bedroom.


southern girl




Eff Your Beauty Standards

It’s taken me a long time to get to this point.  I am proud to say I can stand confidently and say “Eff your beauty standards.”  I choose to love myself as I am today.

love thyself

This past weekend I enjoyed a one day romp on the beach. I mentally prepared for this trip because this was the first time I was going to bust out (no pun intended) my #fatkini.  You see, after being hit by a Ford f150 last fall, I decided that I am letting go of my self-created prison when it comes to things I want to do or say. I thought it would be a sin and a shame to have lived for 33 years and spent 66% of that time hating my body, feeling shame, and uncomfortable in my own skin when swimming or at the beach.

Here I am in all my big-girl glory.


at the beach

When I first saw the pic, my eyes went immediately to my flaws. I noticed those feelings, loved them (because they show me where I need to grow in loving myself) and released them. I focused on how I felt when the picture was taken. I was feeling confident for the most part, but hating the fact that I was still “covered up.”  I hate hiding. I hate secrets.  At this point in my life I am over shame (and being ashamed.)  So before long, I threw off my sheer robe and decided to just be on that beach.  Despite the fact that I was surrounded by size zero cousins in their 20s looking all slim and trim, for the first time in my life, I did not feel like I was less (or have an overwhelming feeling of being more.)  I was just me.

Not less than five minutes later, I was encouraging my cousin, who is also a graphics design student/photographer, to host a photo shoot ala Real Housewives.  I primped and posed. It was in that moment that I realized how disassociated I had become with my body.  I didn’t know where to put my arms. I wasn’t sure if I should put them overhead because my fat from my arms might dangle.  I was, as my friend says, in my feelings and not enjoying my newfound freedom and self-love.

It took me about 30 minutes to get fully comfortable in my own skin. In a fatkini.  In the Gulf of Mexico.  Caring less if my rolls were being looked at. If I disgusted others with my lumps and bumps.  Loving the skin I was in.  In the end, I totally loved my day on the beach. I will not go back to hating my body and feeling like I can’t do what others do because I’m this size, color, race, gender or nationality.  #overitdotcom

I know some people think this #fatkini movement is about normalizing obesity or something along those lines.  I think this movement is about people who don’t fit in traditionally learning to full love themselves as they are to encourage both physical and mental health and wellness. If the mind and spirit are hurting, then the body will physically reflect that pain.

Following my car accident, my quality of life significantly diminished due to back spasms and constant pain. I vowed to heal my body but soon realized that without dealing with my emotional pain, I would continue to undermine my efforts at becoming healthy and whole.  Yoga (one of my only approved exercises by my Doc) helped to jumpstart my reconnection with my body. I allowed myself to be invisible and in doing so did not realize the stress I had put it under.  No amount of self-hate was going to get me to love myself enough to consistently change my behavior to allow my body to heal.

Since my accident, I have decided to radically love myself.  In doing so, I accept myself as I am today to continue to love myself into a stronger me tomorrow.

Being Stressed Is a Choice!

Today, I had the most profound epiphany.  As I was sitting in my truck, driving home from my chiropractic appointment I tried to squeeze into my lunch break (that I constantly feel guilty about), I realized that the stress that I was experiencing was by my own design.

As I sat, mindlessly driving (yep, I was in motion with all this thinking going on in my head), mentally compiling my already overwhelmed weekly schedule with additional tasks that must be done this week, I felt my entire body tighten. I glanced up in my rearview mirror and noticed that my brow was furrowed and looked down quickly before eyeing the road to catch a glimpse of my knuckles visibly lightening from my clinching the steering wheel in a death grip.

I was attempting to process how I was going to meet with my Residents (for my coaching job), observe potential recruits coming into our program next, engage in school visitations with the consultant from Newark who will meet with my two sitting principals, plan and design the artifacts for a training tomorrow, fit in two more chiropractic visits, go to traffic court for my accident last year on Friday, visit with my new mentee that I’m coaching as she transitions into college, visit two gyms to scope out the pools for my therapy and join a new yoga class to support my back therapy as well.  It was too much for my mind to handle and I started to panic. I felt like crying and giving up all in that moment. The joy of my job, and the prospective joy I was feeling around my new volunteering experiences, swimming and a new yoga practice, were being overshadowed with dread.

It was in that moment, I decided I am not going to stress. Each week, I enter Sundays with a sense of dread… of not being enough… of not doing enough… of feeling overwhelmed… and feeling like a fraud… and I’m unhappy.  When that dread is absent, I generally love my life and life choices but when I’m overwhelmed, I question everything and it makes me sad, depressed and anxious.  I don’t want to feel this way anymore and since these feelings of stress are tied to emotions and emotions can be managed, I am managing mine.

While stress is our ancient way of protecting ourselves from danger (i.e. fight, freeze, flee), in the current context of our busy worlds, chronic stress is dangerous and detrimental to our health.  Since I am trying to heal an extensive back and spine trauma from my car accident, I cannot afford to be in a state of chronic stress.  I cannot immediately change jobs but I can change how I approach my job. I may not be able to let go of all my current activities but I can prioritize activities that make me happy and help heal me mentally and physically. I can choose a better life for myself – one that is stress-free!

I called my friend to share this great news as soon as I got home.  She was very excited (and probably thinking, “Chile, I coulda been told you this” because she had previously been struggling with the same thing) and told me she would share something with me. When I opened up my computer, it was today’s post on Leo Babuta’s site ZenHabits.  The post title… Being Mindful of Stress.

The universe confirmed what I had been thinking and this was my glaring neon sign. I feel comforted in knowing that I can choose to live a happy, healthy life; not just manage the day’s stress, only to sleep and pick up the load the next day.  It’s a tremendous relief and I’m super excited for the implications in my future!!!

How do you manage stress in your life?  What signs do you look for to tell you that you are stressed?  

I’d love to hear about your experiences!


Fat Loss Progress

It’s time for me to get back to the business of losing fat.  I’ve been out of town for work and came back to a very active Mardi Gras season.  That mean’s I’ve had the pleasure of eating delicious Randazzo king cake, BBQ and parade food (i.e. finger sandwiches, chips, and the like.)  I also have finished a daiquiri or two since returning to the Big Easy.  It’s easy to slip back into the habit of not being present when it comes to my food so I pulled out my stats to remind me of why I’m engaging in this journey.

Fat Loss Progress 08 March 2014

My goal is to lose one half to two inches in each of measurement categories.  This will require healthy, wholesome eating and putting in work at the gym.  It’s a welcome change from my week and a half of not being present with my fat loss journey.  #lovemyself