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Monday, June 24, 2019

5 Solo Travel TIPS you MUST know NOW!





Travel Fit: Comfy, cute and simple. Don't be a target and wear anything that screams TOURIST!
Hi dolls! Long time no post. I know it's been a while but I thought what better way to start back blogging than to bring you along my birthday trip to Tulum, Mexico. It was a super last minute trip, I ended up rolling solo and it was the absolute BEST trip ever! Never be afraid to travel solo, life waits on no (wo)man and you never know what's in store for you on that next adventure!

My advice to anyone that desires to travel on their own will always be, DO IT, DO IT NOW!

However, I do have a few tips and tricks to do it safely and without incident.

1.  Do your research of the area.
Have a plan of where you want to go and understand the different modes of transportation. When you are lost do your best to NOT look like it. Ask your hotel the best way to get to the Hotel or for directions around the area. I typically trust them more than a stranger on the street. Quick story, when I arrived in Rome I had a Taxi try to charge me 100 USD for a 6 min ride to my hotel. (Note: I did pay $40 which was still insanely expensive🤦🏾‍♀️) Had I not known what it SHOULD cost and stood up for myself that would have been a very expensive mistake made. I could have also jumped on a $3 trolley that would have dropped me off at the corner from my hotel. I didn't know that at first so I did that when leaving. It was super easy and a total deal.


2. Drop A Pin, Sis!
This one might seem obvious but you need to actually tell people where you are going. Give them flight and hotel information and notify them if plans change. This can be done by sharing with loved ones or in this day and age a simple check in via Facebook works as well. I sent a simple text like the one above to a few people and that was it. Just think about the dialogue if GOD forbid you come up missing. Do you want your loved ones to say, "She left yesterday sometime to Mexico, I think Tulum but it could have been Cancun🤷🏾‍♀️ and she was staying at some hotel in the Jungle." Ma'am, what?! Sis, help them and YOURSELF out and provide details.

3. Pack light. 
No seriously, you want to be able to handle your own bags. Pick pockets and thieves target people that need help with bags and while MOST people are actually generous people that would not mind helping you, there are some that will find you easy prey. Also, bag handlers will offer to help you but best believe they will expect or demand a tip after.

One of my biggest travel regrets was over packing for Italy. I visited about 5 cities in 2 weeks and it was HELL lugging 2 FULL-SIZE suitcases through the streets of Venice. If you've ever been to Venice you know exactly what I'm talking about. Cobble streets, stair cases and bridges at every corner oh and let's not forget the lovely task of getting on and off a water taxi. Dear sweet Jesus, I truly don't know how I made it. Also, train stations (which was my primary mode of transportation) do not always have elevators or escalators up and down, so moving from one track to another meant MANY, MANY stairs! Oh the struggle!! Trust me no outfit is worth that stress. Pack what you need, nothing more.

4. Update your bank and phone plan. 
So, my bank does that very secure (and usually inconvenient) thing of locking down my account when my account has suspicious charges and will decline the purchase. This has happened to me at a pet store in my neighborhood or when my account was hacked with 12 dollars in porn charges (they were not mine, swear!). It has also happened to me at dinner in Aviano, Italy with co-workers and NO cash on me. Very embarrassing. Not only do you want to be in a foreign country with no cash (rookie mistake) but also not a working card and hours before you bank opens. Just notify them you will be out of the country and to allow charges for a certain period of time.

Also, your phone is essential. You need a way to communicate while away on a solo trip. Even if you are only able to make local calls that is fine. Either purchase your company's international plan for your trip, take a portable Mi-Fi device or download the What's App. As long as someone at home can get ahold of you and you can get a message to them. I will admit I fail to do this just about every time. Doh! I land in Mexico and my phone doesn't work. Not only can I not make calls but I can't connect to the internet to access Facebook or emails. Don't be like me, be better than me!

5. Last but not least, trust your gut! 
It typically won't stir you wrong. If you feel uneasy in a situation get out of there immediately. DO talk to strangers, please. I have met some of the dopest people on my solo trips but listen to your spidy senses if something feels 'off' to you. Whether it's someone being way too friendly or aggressive or if you end up in a sketchy area of town, be careful. Don't get too drunk, don't walk down dark alley's alone, ya know the usual common sense advice applies here. Be smart, Be safe, but most importantly, have FUN and enjoy your trip, you deserve it!

If you have other travel tips please leave them in the comments below! Also, do you have any cool trips coming up this summer, I want to know where I should go next!!





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Monday, April 15, 2019

5 Steps to Finding Your Personal Style

What I'm Wearing:
Tee: Boohoo | Sweats: Wal-Mart, softest sweats EVER, you will love and hate me if you buy these! Love me because now your world has changed and hate me because you'll never want to wear anything else. #storyofmylife


I have nothing to wear. No, seriously y'all. NOTHING. 

I know what your asking right now. Naja, how are you a fashion blogger and have nothing to wear? Well, good question, let me tell you how I got here and how I plan on finding my way. So if you're lost like me go ahead and follow these 5 steps to get back to being your BEST style self.

The funny thing about personal style is it's ever evolving, changing and growing as YOU do. Lots of things affect your personal style to include your lifestyle, habits, likes/dislikes, mood etc. My style as a stay at home mom living in rural suburbs is completely different than that of a single woman working in corporate America living in a MAJOR city. For me, going through a bit of a depression this last year combined with my weight not being where I would like it to be AND compiled with the fact I work from home 80% of the time, made for a toxic cocktail in the style department. I looked up and my style evolved to sweatpants, leggings and overall giving ZERO F*@#s! This would be fine and totally cool, IF I was cool with it. But I'm not. How I look affects how I feel and I'm ready to start feeling amazing again. So on top of the internal work I'm doing I'm also tackling my wardrobe. But first, I have to figure out a few things, like what is MY PERSONAL STYLE?? Here are 5 steps to get you going in the right direction.

1. Who is your style MUSE? 
What's a muse you ask? Simply someone that inspires you. Who's style in this world inspires you the most? Pick 2-3 celebrities, bloggers, or real life person who's style inspires you OFTEN. If you live for everything Rihanna puts on her body than she just might be your style muse. I personally can't get enough of Kahlana Barfield, the Twiced Blessed bloggers and Olivia Palermo to name a few.

2. Gather inspiration.
I tend to head to the Inspo MECCA of the inter webs; Pinterest. Really anywhere that will help you organize your inspiration pics easily. Pinterest is an amazing resource for style inspiration, so create an account/board, follow your FAVs (you can follow me HERE) and start saving anything that catches your eye. Also, browse Instagram (you can follow me HERE) for rich fashion inspiration. Just pick a hashtag and let the journey down the rabbit hole began lol. My favs are #styleinspiration #LTKstyle #curvygirlstyle You would be so surprised what will unlock your creativity. Think you've thought of everyway possible to style a white tee? Head to Pinterest and I assure you someone else has styled it in a way you never thought of. Get inspired girl!

3. Identify your body type. 
Listen very carefully dolls, this is a big tip right here. You listening? Ok, good, here it goes. NOT EVERYTHING WORKS FOR EVERYBODY. *clears throat* Let me say that again. NOT EVERYTHING YOU LIKE WILL WORK FOR YOUR SPECIFIC BODY TYPE! And guess what, that's ok. The goal here is to feel comfortable and confident in what we put on our body. I don't feel confident with my lower FUPA area on full display. (not sure what a FUPA is? lol google it) Anything tight on that area makes me super cringe. All these plus size queens wearing body con dresses and slaying my edges with they coca-cola shapes and flat tummy give me life, it truly does. But it only took me flocking to buy exactly ONE of those dresses and not looking NOTHING like them to understand my body doesn't look good in those pieces.

4. Pick a key piece. 
We all gravitate to our favs, it's just nature. For instance, are you a shoe or a bag girl? Do you love outwear? Are you a jewelry junkie? What is YOUR thing? Pick a key piece you always gravitate towards and maximize it. Focus on that thing when you're out shopping, it will become your signature. For me it was shoes, boy did I love a good heel! I would rock the cheapest bag and midtier outfit with a $800 Fendi pump. I mean nothing really beats a sexy shoe in my opinion. However, my tolerance for any heel over 3 inches is becoming weary by the day and I tend to gravitate towards a sneaker or a flat. *insert GASP here* So maybe I need to be a sneaker head instead of a Fendi freak? Hmmmm we shall see.

5. Experiment. 
Fashion should be fun and not taken too seriously. There is no right or wrong. It's really about what makes you feel fly? You can't really mess up personal style. It is what you make it and is an outward reflection of who you are. It's okay to play around with your style, be free, have fun and above all; OWN IT!

So that's all I have for today dolls. I hope you enjoyed these tips and found them helpful. Let me know how YOU identify your personal style in the comments below. Ya girl needs all the tips she can get!!

xoxo,
Naja

The relationship you have with yourself will set the tone for every other relationship in your life. Do you value you?

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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

I can explain......but I won't


Sitting down to write this blog post without feeling fake AF has been the hardest thing. Do I jump in with a makeup or outfit post after 5 months of silence? Do I explain, "What happened" to me and the reason for my absence? Is one even necessary? Do I even have the energy for that? Answer to all of the above; NO. Do you guys ever just get off track? (I know I'm not the only one) Do you ever get so far away from your intended path that you look up and ask yourself, where the hell am I? Not in a confused but happy to be here kind of way lol. Nah more in a, HOLY SHIT I'm in danger and need to get to safety kind of way. I feel like I'm in that place as of late.

I started my blog as an outlet to express my love for fashion and makeup and document my journey of discovering my personal style and inspire others along the way. It then grew to my home on the internet to express myself in other things like my love for home decor, life events and my evolution as a woman. I stopped short on many things as the internet is a tricky place to navigate and many people aren't as kind as they should be. But honestly that only left me feeling restricted, the pressure to seem 'perfect' and always put together; inauthentic to a point as at times I'm a WHOLE HOT ASS MESS, and that's ok. Then somewhere along the lines I didn't know how to start again. Asking myself, "where do I start, what do I talk about, does anyone even care anymore?"

Social media has become nothing more than a web of lies for likes and it's exhausting. Then there are those who are truly inspiring and influencing things that matter while doing what they love and supporting themselves doing it. I want to be the later. If I had to articulate a brand mission statement, it would be I want my brand to be one that inspires and influences you to live your best life on your own terms. My favorite people are those that are unapologetically themselves, in a world full of people trying to be like the next that is beyond refreshing. So here's to letting go of what others say your life should be or look like and just fucking DO YOU! I miss sharing, I miss inspiring, I miss this community, I miss writing, I miss beating my face for no reason at all other than to tell y'all how much I LOVE this new lipstick, I miss creating pretty pictures, I miss creating, period. If you still wake up everyday with a passion for something, why would you ever give it up? For me it was because I let the outside 'noise' become louder than my own voice. So let's try this again, let's get back on the horse and back in the saddle and this time, Naja, run your OWN race. Block out the noise and just do what you love. Let everything else happen as it should.
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Friday, December 7, 2018

Glam Home Office Tour

About My Desk:
Desk: Wayfair| Chair: Amazon| Photos: Target/HomeGoods| Lamp: Target| Storage Boxes: Target
 Hello, Dolls! Happy Friday and Happy December, I hate to start a post at the end of the week but I've decided to no longer do this thing called, WAIT! I am the queen of "I'll do it when...." Prime example is actually my office. I decided to post these pictures before I change up this space yet AGAIN. I finished my home office back in September but never posted the pics before well, who knows! I could have decided not to post these pics for something as simple as the wires are showing behind the desk or the lines in the carpet aren't straight or because I forgot to put a picture in a frame. Well here it is months later and this space has already changed and these poor pics nearly went to waste.

Here's the thing, for the next 21 days I'm going to be choosing progress over perfection! The picture isn't perfect? Post it anyway! Posting something and getting better with time is much more productive than waiting FOREVER to do any one thing. Be sure to follow me on my Instagram HERE because  I will be posting every single day for the next 21 days. I know that doesn't seem like a lot to most bloggers and it shouldn't. But me, on the other hand, has a habit of posting once a week if that. I haven't set a goal for my blog just yet but I know planning out my Instagram content will ultimately allow me to be more organized with my blog content so it should be a WIN WIN. I truly struggle with consistency in ALL things but especially on social media. I plan on changing that going into this New Year. Nothing wrong with getting started on your 2019 goals a little early.

Please let me know your thoughts down below and I would love to know what goals you're getting started on right now! Happy Friday and have a beautiful weekend, dolls.

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