STORY TIME|First Time Wearing A Swimsuit in 14 Years | #JustWearTheSuit

STORY TIME|First Time Wearing A Swimsuit in 14 Years | #JustWearTheSuit

#JustWearTheSuit is a hashtag created by Caryl, a body positive blogger of Lipgloss and Crayons. She built a community around a hashtag to encourage everyBODY to get into their swimsuits and celebrate body image and journey.   And boy do I have journey to share y’all

So, I was introduced to #JustWearTheSuit hashtag by a fellow blogger I met at a fashion show, Kendall Rayburn. She is one of the sweetest people to come across. I told her haven’t worn a swimsuit in years. 14 years to be exact!! When she told me about it, I had a big knot in the back of my throat. Saying to myself, ”Can I do this…. You already show your body off in underwear.” Hell with it, I need to face my body insecurities head on and just do it.

Yeahhh, so I finally wore a swimsuit, OKAY! After a long extending period without wearing a swimsuit, I got my beautiful body in one. I am so overjoyed that I did it. Shout out to Carly for forming this amazing hashtag while encouraging us to wear a swimsuit. Also, she letting the world know that everyone can wear a swimsuit and look good! See, conquering fear is not so bad.

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Smiling in Swimsuit from SHEIN

My Story

The last memory I have of being in swimsuit was probably when I was 14. A teenage girl at the Boys & Girls Club going to Red Oaks water park in Metro Detroit. At that time I did not think of myself as beautiful. I let the world convince me that I was not beautiful. I bought into it and folded on myself! I believe I was too big to wear a swimsuit and nobody would want to see my body. I did not want to see my curves. So that was all she wrote and I completely stop wearing a swimsuit.

As a teenager, I was not confident at all. I was this curvy nerd like black girl from the hood who did not know how to fit in. Growing up, you did not want to be label as anything but cool.  Cool didn’t fit me so I became the funny girl. I would talk down and make fun of myself, before any one else could. I guess you can say it hurt less. Anyway, nothing around me made feel like my body was amazing. Music videos only glorified smaller women. Clothing stores never carried anything that was cute for me.  Nothing I saw represented me. During that time I was having a hard time navigating in world that only saw one standard of beauty. I did not fit that mold, no matter how hard I tried to fit in.  On top of my insecurities I DID NOT KNOW HOW TO SWIM. So I stayed away from water parks! If I couldn’t my love for water parks I would wear boxes and shirts that match. This made me look bigger, and body-less Smh, I can remember my boy boxes falling off in the pool exposing my whole butt to the world.

Sidenote: I never learned how to swim. I took free swimming classes when I was 8. However the classes end right in the middle of me learning, with no explanation. So my rule is, as long as my feet can touch the bottom of the pool I am good. SMH 

Anyway it has taking me a long time to get to this point in my life.  14 years and I got my beautiful curvy/ fluffy body in swimsuit. I can say it loudly that I GOT A BANGING BODY! OKAY!! I am showing off and wearing a halter top high waisted bikini from SHEIN. Even adding a bold color like red to make the experience more gratifying for me.  Whew I am doing it sis. It took a lot of hard work and SELF LOVE.  Honestly, I had to get over myself and stop listening to the world. Now, it was not all me! It people like Carly who creates hashtag to encourage! Or Sasha from Flaws of Couture to push to wear swimsuit all summer long! The world doesn’t have a clue what is best for us. THERE IS NOT ONE STANDARD OF BEAUTY. I learn that everyone is beautiful in there own way.  No more trying to fit. Stand out and pave your own lane. We should not tell people what is beautiful and what is not. I became a fashion blogger to embrace my body. My curves are fire okay!

“Life is too short to spend another day at war with yourself.”

-Rita Ghatowey

So like the hashtag says JUST WEAR THE SUIT. We are beautiful just the way we was made. Don’t let anything stop you from being happy and enjoying life. So I encourage you take the swimsuit challenge. Make sure you use the hashtag #JustWearTheSuit. Make sure you check the hashtag and see the other ladies in their suits too! SWIMSUIT all summer long sis! LEAD WITH CONFIDENCES !!!

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Face of Pure Joy

Location: At Home

Photographer: Me, Myself, and I


 Do you say swimsuit or bathing suit? Were you every afraid to put on swimsuit? If so, why were you afraid? Have you conquer your fear? 

Share with me in the comment section. Let’s talk sis

Thank you so much for reading my and don’t hesitate to like, and comment. Please make sure you subscribe to my newsletter. Let me know what you wanna see in the future on the blog ! I am here for y’all! 🙂

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cassandra

 

Money Talk: 7 Ways To Trick Yourself Into Saving Money

Money Talk: 7 Ways To Trick Yourself Into Saving Money

Living a stress free life is really important to me. I love to maintain a certain level of  balance in life. However, my life can get a bit off balance due to finances. One of the main reasons why I am so stressed at times, is of money.  It seems like I don’t have any wiggle room to save. I have gotten into the cycle where I am living paycheck to paycheck. It start off that way but living is hard. Rent cost and other expenses goes up every year.  How can I save anything?  It hard trying to stay afloat with a fixed income.

Speaking of staying afloat, my job just rolled out more overtime. Hooray! I am currently working 50 hours a week. Now they added on extra 10 hours. Did I forget to mention that I have been working overtime for 2 months straight. Money Money Money!  I wouldn’t be me if I was not complaining about it. A sis is super burnt out. I was ranting about it on Instagram a day ago. Anyway, a few of my friends and followers help me see the light. I have to trick myself into saving. They gave me some great advice about saving my money that I get from overtime.

george washington dollar GIF by Phyllis Ma

So in today’s post I thought it would beneficial to talk about 7 ways to trick ourselves into saving money. This month is all about women and our well being. Living a stress free life and having financial freedom is super important me. Let start by taking care ourselves by managing our finances a bit better. So it time to get discipline ladies- self control. No more complaining about…We are on our way to financial security.

Don’t let money run your life, let money help run your life better

Pack A Lunch

I spend a lot of money eating out, because I don’t like to cook. I looked at my bank statement and I noticed that I spend a lot of money on food. Nothing make me happier than a nice meal at a restaurant. I need self control. So, In order to save some of my money I will start packing my lunch. Bringing a lunch from home will help me retain my coins. Also it will force me to monitor what I am eating.

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Save Lose Change

Save your change people! I know for a fact that coins add up quickly. Get a coin jar or piggy bank and just put the coins to the side after you break a dollar.

Automatic Savings

I went to credit union and started up a another savings account. I was having such a hard time saving my money. I needed extra help because I had no willpower. So, I set up another account apart from my primary bank. I decided to have $20 bucks automatically deposit in this account each pay period. So yes I pay myself $40 buck each month. Out of sight out of mind method is the real reason why this work for me. I don’t see, so I don’t think about it. Easy savings. Sidenote: I also made sure that this bank was out of way so I would not feel compel to take money out of the account.

Bank Your Bonus

Extra time and money is always an upside to the job. Overtime is extra money in my pocket. When I get extra money I like to still remind myself that I am still broke. Instead of blowing through the extra money I put it away if I can. Since my willpower is low I put a small percentage of it to the side. That overtime is not going to last forever! So bank it when you get it.

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Put Away Those Dollaz- Dollar Bill Challenge

Really simple- save those $1 bills from your wallet after running errands.

Make Money While Shopping

Shopping is my favorite thing to do. So I blew a gasket when someone told I can get paid for shopping online through Ebates. EBates is a cash back  and shopping award company. Basically stores pay Ebates a commission for sending us your way,  and Ebates share the commission with us through a cash back.

happy shopping GIF by Much

Round Up Programs- Acorns Or Bank of America

Lastly some apps and bank are able to round up your transactions to the nearest dollar. I use Acorns App! Basically you will pair your bank or card with the app. Very simple So let say you bought something for $9.56 from Target! The app would round your cost to $10 and will save the $0.44. You have the option to save your change in your savings account or whatever bank you have linked to it. That change really adds up face. I’ve been using it for a month now and I save $30 bucks already. Also you have the ability to turn it off if you face hard times. Sidenote: I have had Acorns for awhile but I had to turn it off because of hard times

I have tried all of these tips, sis! The most helpful for me has been the automatic savings and round up program. In conclusion, anything that involves out of sight and out of mind works for me.

Hopefully you find this read to be helpful. I hope this set yourself off on the quest of financial freedom, and a stress free life.


How do you plan to get better with savings? Are you going to try one of these tips?

Share with me in the comment section.

Thank you so much for reading and don’t hesitate to like, comment and subscribe to my blog. Let me know what you wanna see in the future on the blog ! I am here for y’all!

Also don’t be stranger on social media. Check me out on Facebook and Instagram

push forward.

cassandra

 

6 Tips For Emotional Healing

6 Tips For Emotional Healing

So I know as of lately my emotions has been all over the place. I made it clear this month in my It’s October !! post that I wanted to focus on healing. Inside and out, especially mentally. So it is time to be still for a moment.   Also, it time for me too really sit back to identify what is making me feel all of these emotions.  With all that being said I had to identify that I was emotionally a mess. I had lost control….. one thing about a person like me losing control scares me.  So this month I put myself under the microscope and really worked hard with getting to core of what my grief was. Check out my story to see if I am in the process of recovering from emotional pains and scars!

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My Story …

First I constantly was worry, and complaining a lot.  I was worry about being successful, money problem, just a lot of things that everyday people are challenge with. I was mental drained. Also I was suffering from the perfectionism complex. I  felt like I  had to be perfect. I really can feel the pressure  I put on myself.  All my family and friends looking at me, using me as the model. I put so much pressure on myself to the point I stated to rebel. My rebellious state put me in the worst predicament ever in my life. I was force to make some hard decisions during that time. After coming though that tough time, I found myself ridden with some much guilt, shame, and sadness. I felt like a failure.. I was literally crying all the time.  (At that point, I made the decision to talk to somebody… I talked to my mom, also I was in the process of finding a therapist) This was the first time I realize I was not on it. I made a huge mistake and I was not alright. I was so busy trying to be perfect that I believe that I could never make a mistake of that magnitude. I had to face reality that I was not perfect. I was not excused from making mistakes.

So with that being said I believe that GOD put me through it to learn that I was not perfect. I will make mistakes and just because I made of mistake does not make unworthy of love. He understand that all his children are human, and we all make mistake. I had learned to stop condemning myself . In order to heal you  have to first self examine, ask for forgiveness and go on with life. Now I am not trying to take get to heavily spiritually, I wanted to share with you all my story on how I am learning how to heal myself emotionally.  Honestly, this journey  of healing is something I have to practice day by day. I truly understand that in order to heal I have to trust the process and learn to accept myself. Also, to stop being my worst enemy, and how to still love myself past all the mistakes that I made and will make in life.  Let me be clear … I am still healing and I will probably be healing for a while however, for the first time I don’t feel like I have to be perfect !

Identify Emotional Pain

Emotional pain can really make it hard for anyone to live their best life. It really can take a hold of you and really cause a mess. I think it is important to try to identify it however, emotional pain can be hard to identify in my opinion. I realize on my own that I was holding to a lot of grief from my past. Even some close friends told me that I needed let go of thing that was “life span” ago.  Seriously, it was a lot of things were on my shoulders. It was really wearing away at me.  That type of pain can really hinder anyone from living their life and manifest some terrible things physically. I know for me I continue to replay the past. I kept thinking about my issues over and over, those thought only made me more sad, and piled on more grief.  So with that being said I am tired physically  of carrying all this stuff around. So I had to really practice the art of “letting go“.

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Tips for Healing Emotionally 

  • let go of all the baggage that you carrying. it’s too heavy
  • forgiveness is key
  • accept who you are and make peace with yourself
  • stop ruminating – stop harboring over the hurt, past, and the grief
  • speaking positivity really helps – self affirmations
  • turn lemons into lemonade – turn your failure into something positive

Importantly: Remember if you need to talk to therapist to hep you navigate be all means put this post down and do what you need to do to start the healing process

Other ways to help mental wellness…

  • I am optimist, my mommy taught me how to look on the bright side of things. I have faith and hope that I am always going to make it through anything that is challenging, thankful I do !
  • Supportive people in your corner
  • Expressing gratitude: Having a gratitude journal has being really helping me. Every night I write down what I am thankful for. I go to bed with joy in my heart, and really helps with putting all my things into perspective
  • Mindfulness:  Presently and actively appreciating were you are at in life.

Disclaimer: I want to make it clear and I am not licences individual or therapist. These are just my personal thoughts.Importantly: Remember if you need to talk to therapist to help you navigate through it all; Pleas put this post down and do what you need to do to start your healing process.


Resources: Psychology Today: www.psychologytoday.com – has a whole list of therapist, and 
social workers in your area that you can reach out to for help). Therapy for Black Girls: www.therapyforblackgirls.com– has a list of black therapists in your area.

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“Until you heal the wounds of your past, you are going to bleed. You are going to bleed. You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex; But eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life. You must find the strength to open the words,  Stick your hands inside, pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories and make peace with them. “

-Iyanla Vanzant

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My mom said me and Viola Davis favor each other in this picture

Photographer: Daniela Lisi – Nicole & Daniela Photography | IG: @nicole_daniela_studio or @nicole_daniela_photo |Website: www.NicoleDanielaPhoto.com 

Special shout to Daniela. She is one of the sweetest person I every met. She is so honest and I really appreciate people like her. We literally had a whole conversation while taking these pictures. I really appreciate and love days like this. 

Location: Nicole & Daniela Studio


Why I was inspired…

I love to tell my story because I feel like it can ignite the fire in someone to do something about what they are going through. It was really important for me to get my smile back so I turn my grief into a post to help myself, to learn, and to hopefully help someone else.  I hope this find you well

If you enjoy this post please let me know below in the comments section. Thank you so much for reading and don’t hesitate to like, comment and subscribe to my blog.

Also don’t be stranger on social media. Check me out of Facebook and Instagram

cassandra

Story Time: Why I Was Inspired to Start Blogging?

Story Time: Why I Was Inspired to Start Blogging?

I felt compelled today to tell my story as to why I started blogging. I mention it a bit in about me page my blog. However, I never fully went into to details about. I feel comfortable at this time to tell my story. Disclaimer: I have to be really honest with how my brain process things at time. Ha, you might not like the fact that  I started with superficial dreams.  But it is my truth at that time. Hopefully this story will find you and give you to the courage to go for what you want in life. Motivation is the key ! There is always something that spark the flame within you to go for something.

So before I started blogging I was really unsure of myself and not really sure where I fit in the world. Struggling always to find my voice. On top of that all I had a low self-esteem. I would mask my tears and sadness with jokes, laughter, and priding myself on being the class clown. I always wanted everybody to like to me… I wanted to be popular. Let me remind you this was only a few years ago. I was totally confused.  On the flip side, I really did not have sense of style in my opinion. I grew up during that time wear Akadmiks, Pepe, Baby Phat “urban” street wear was in style.  I was mixing trend, wearing outdated things… simply a mess.  Don’t judge… if you are millennial you already know the early 2000s was something else lol !

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So how did I get myself together, First I had to let go of a few things that were hindering me in my past. Bad breakup, Bad friendships and embrace new endeavors.  I had to let go my feelings towards the worst relationship crisis and friendship during my freshman year of college. If you want to read the full story check out my beautifully broken post .  After that horrible experience a few other bad ones I learn that I have to love myself first before I can be in any relationships. So I started focusing on me. I started to take more pride in my appearance and how I valued myself over the time I had to myself.  I started dressing up more, wearing more makeup and trying different styles out. I felt I needed to look the part. I ask my mom for her guidance and I got really into People StyleWatch magazine. By that time I graduated from college and I  was working as intern in Downtown Detroit.  A girl at work got me really hooked on interest. I was creating boards and liking pictures left and right.  I knew at work it was dress free environment but I wanted to step my game up further. I wanted to prove to people, that just because I was a curvy girl does not mean I did not know how to dress that was false.

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One day while I was on Pinterest I stumble across Kelly Augustine picture. Kelly is plus size blogger/ influencer.  She was so bold and regal in her picture. Kelly Augustine, then it grew to Essie Golden, Osha Waiters, Hayet Rida, GabiFresh, Naturally Fashionable … the list can go on and on.  I was super inspired.  They  were so confident and that want I wanted to be was confident.  Forgot the clothes I wanted the confidences that beamed off of them.  So in 2015 I got the nerve up to start FashionLayn.  And the rest is history !

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I started showcasing different fashion style however it was hard staying consistent at first. Then I transition into providing a positive message to curvy women. Now I am all into curvy fashion, speaking to millennial, and show off my city, Detroit. I absolutely love to blog and talking to you all like a real life girlfriend! Over the 3 years of blogging I have grown and overcome many obstacles along the way. I super proud with where I am now with my blogging. I am super excited to see how far this go for me !

So the answer to my question, I was inspired to start my blog because I wanted  confidences for myself. I wanted the confidences like all those curvy girls I shared in this story. It is still a real up and down story. I wouldn’t be me if I said I had it all together. I chose to share it with yall! Go for what you want and don’t let anybody tell you it’s not possible.  Be Confident This is my dream and currently living it ! 

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Special shoutout to BlogWithKim Mastermind Class who inspired me and others to share their story.

cassandra