Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Back to Basics: Must-Have Wardrobe Basics

Hey Dolls, welcome back to Day 3 of the 21 day Back to Basics challenge!

Today we are tackling the wardrobe. If you are anything like me, every morning you are faced with a closet full of clothes but NOTHING to wear. For the last few months, I simply give up and throw on sweat pants, gross I know. The sheer effort of constructing an entire outfit was just too much for me.  To be honest it often is when you're going through something. It shows in what you wear or how you present yourself to the world. For me, if I look good I feel good. So best believe not spending the time to feel cute and confident before I leave the house directly affects my mood.

My goal is to keep it simple, like everything else in this challenge, and stick to the basics. I went through my current wardrobe and pulled together my go-to pieces. I guess this would be my version of a capsule wardrobe. If you're not familiar with a capsule wardrobe check out this blog here. To explain it simply, a capsule wardrobe is a collection of pieces you compile and pull from when getting dressed. It is usually for an entire season and contains a limited number of pieces to include clothing, shoes, and accessories in some cases. For me, my capsule wardrobe will not be a designated amount of pieces but rather a color palette and scheme of simplicity. I have really been drawn to black, white and grey tones lately so that is the color scheme I will be sticking to for the remainder of this challenge. Now if something amazing catches my eye then I have no issue straying a bit but these pieces I've put together has me pretty confident for the remaining 19 days of the challenge. Hell for the entire Fall season or year if I was really about that black and white life!

So where do you start? Glad you asked! Here are the 12 wardrobe must haves that will keep me chic and put together with no fuss. These are closet staples everyone should own or be looking to invest in very soon.
3. Go-To Cardi
6. Crisp White Button Up
9. Black Bootie (and Brown for that matter)
11. White Sneakers
12. Black Tote

My most favorite category by far. Pairing down my collection to just 4 pairs of shoes was difficult. I don't like to play favorites with my children....I'm not that kind of mom. *sad face I will tell you right now....I don't know if I will be able to commit to this. Do you know how hard it was NOT to add in a red fringe sandal here?! Like, REALLLLLY hard!

I mean a wardrobe must have is surely a little black dress. Here I've added a black shift dress perfect for work or more formal events. I added in a full cutout bodycon dress and cute lace fluted skirt number for if I'm feeling flirty. A grey dress with an open back to add well...some color. lol A black sweater dress as a layering piece and a black and white jumper for a more casual weekend option. Not necessary to have 4 black dresses but considering my lack of pants that fit, (hello thick thighs!) black dress are slimming, comfortable and practical in my case.

Not sure how I missed my favorite pair of jeans in these photos but just pretend they are there on the end. You see them? Ok, great, glad we're on the same page because a great pair of jeans is ESSENTIAL! I mean they are practically life or death important. (Not being dramatic AT ALL) *totally being dramatic*
Besides that I pulled a great pair of black pants (Note to self: purchase black jeans), a black pencil skirt, white wide leg trousers because I like to cooooordinate and these black & white striped trousers for a bit of fun. 

I kept my blouse options pretty simple with this longline sleeveless button up from Eloquii that I LOVE and feel super comfortable in. My very 'healthy' chest at the moment is making it impossible to find a crisp white button up that I like so, for now, this is my version of said staple. I also love a good body suit and this deep V neck adds instant sex appeal. Speaking of sexy this gorgeous black see-thru top also by Eloquii (similar HERE) is perfect to dress up or down! Pair this with a pencil skirt or power suit and you have a beautiful look. I'm finishing off with a white cardigan because well....I love a good cardigan and this one from Ann Taylor is ma fav! 

Basic Tees/Sweats:
These are just a few basic layering items you will need. The simple T-shirt is a wardrobe staple. I love to get mine from the Gap, they have the softest, most affordable and best quality I've seen. Here I've pulled a graphic tee, scalloped tee as well as long sleeve tees because of the fall season. I also love to throw on this simple grey sweatshirt from J. Crew with ruffled hem and black Adidas sweat as a get up and go item on those cooler days.

Last, but certainly not least....accessories! Ok so I have no bounds when it comes to accessories to include bags, jewelry, and other fun stuff likes hats and scarves. So for this category, I suggest you have fun and do you boo! Just be sure to have at the VERY least a black tote and black crossbody bag. I mean you, for the most part, won't go wrong with those two bags right there. Have fun and accessorize your super basic wardrobe as you like!

What are some of your wardrobe must haves? I would love to know in the comments below! Also, have you tried a capsule wardrobe, if so, what did you think about it?


Monday, September 11, 2017

Getting back on track: 21 Day Back to Basics Challenge

Morning dolls,

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is also the most simple. For example, when you feel stuck, uninspired or sad most often the cure is to JUST MOVE! Simply getting up to take a walk, call a friend or in my case write a blog post can be the hardest thing to do when you are in a funky place. While not the easiest thing to do the BEST thing to do is to...JUST MOVE.

These last few months I found myself wandering aimlessly, confused about my direction in life, questioning my purpose. We've all been there I know I'm not the only one ya'll! Life has it's ups and downs and it's all part of the process to get us to that magical place called 'our Destiny'. Luckily I've had much more ups then downs and I know no matter what the BIG guy upstairs has my back! #teamJesus

However, I still need to do my part on this end. No one can change your life but you. It starts from within. No matter how many friends or family I've had encouraging me or trying to pull me out of my slump, I wasn't going to budge until I, Me, Naja, aka Naja Diamond, Yours Truly was READY to do so. How does that old saying can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. So so true. You have to want it for YOU. Period.

With everything in disarray, and I do mean EVERYTHING! Not being confident about my style, or my body, hell my health overall is a damn mess with my skin breaking out and all (Coca-Cola will do that to you :-/). I was too busy complaining about the things I didn't like rather than doing something about it. Something had to change! If you want different results, you have to change the ingredients. (HELLO, Joyce Meyers reference! lol)

So I decided to wipe the slate clean. Go back to the drawing board. Clear the noise and the clutter of what things SHOULD look like or SHOULD be and just go back to the basics. Keep it simple. Starting today I'm starting a 21 day 'Back to Basics' challenge. Nothing crazy or complicated. It is literally just to help me, get up and get going. I'm starting with 21 days because I know me, it won't be long before I'm trying to add too much to my plate but taking this time to rebuild my foundation is important and if I need to make it a 30 or 60 day challenge to get that foundation back strong than that is fine too.

About the challenge: 
For 21 days my plan is to...
1. Establish and stick to a consistent morning routine. A good morning routine really sets the pace for a great and productive day. Right now my routine is a disaster!
2. Eat healthy. Not perfect but damn I think I forgot what a vegetable looks like I haven't had one in so long. Eeeekk, I wish I was kidding. SMH
3. Work out. Everyday. I'm so out of shape it's shameful. Working out needs to be a part of my life again. Even if it's yoga or some at home squats and walk around the block. Just MOVE!
4. Do what you love or spend everyday actively figuring out what that is.

So that's it. Basic I know and there are other goals I have but I know sticking to these main points everything else will just fall into place.

Follow along if you like and let's report back in 21 days to see how it's going? What are some things you want to change in your life, what steps are you taking to accomplish them? I want to know in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by as always your support is soooo appreciated!!

Monday, July 10, 2017

My Summer Uniform: Jeans and a Tee

Lately, I've been wearing a uniform. My absolute GO-TO look for the last few months has been a pair of jeans and a fun tee. I try to stay away from the basic basic tees and opt for one with some fun details. This tee from H&M with a ruffled hem couldn't be more perfect! I just love it down to the color fit and all. I wish I had it in every color but thta might be a tad too boring for me.

For a look as simple as this I like to play with different accessories. Today, I pulled this fun straw bag I've had in my closet since last year and my favorite summer find from last year these cognac wedges.  Can you believe I found these at Forever 21! They paired perfectly with this simple look to get it the perfect injection of personality.

Finding pieces I feel comfortable in has been one of my great tasks recently. With the right items in my wardrobe I'm able to pull together a great look with ease. Here are a few pieces that are MUST-HAVES for me dressing these curves.


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Summer Cocktail Recipe: Peach Iced Tea

Hey dolls! 

Happy 4th of July to you! 

I hope you are having a great day with family and BBQ. Today is something a little different for my channel but I wanted to share a quick and simple summer cocktail recipe for you to try today or at any of your summer gatherings! 

Check out the video below on how I made this yummy and simple cocktail!
Supplies Needed:
Iced Tea of choice
Peach Vodka of choice
Cute mugs juuuuust because :-D


Monday, July 3, 2017

Life Update: Where Have I Been & Blog Plans

July 3rd......oh my, where has the time gone! Have I seriously not done a blog post since May 8th? Well let's just back it up to that point and catch ya'll up!

Whole 30 Update:
I'm breaking one of the rules by telling you this but I can NOT lie to ya'll. Whole 30 was HARD! Like, real HARD! So many restrictions and so many rules.

I basically made it to day 13 on the diet. I did EXCELLENT up until that point. Caffeine headaches had gone away and I was getting somewhat of a groove for what I liked and could eat but then something happened. I allowed myself ONE cheat and BAM it was over. I had made this delicious salad and yummy whole 30 approved wings and purchased this SUPER expensive (8 whole bucks!) whole 30 salad dressing. Got good and ready to sit down and eat when I decided to 'TRY' the 8 dollar, non-dairy ranch salad dressing that whole 30 said I can eat and boy was it GROSS! It was awful and I was mad....BIG mad! Mad I spent 8 dollars on trash, mad that I had a new bottle of Hidden Valley ranch in my ridge and couldn't eat it and super MAD that my dinner was now ruined from that awful taste in my mouth.

I quickly began to re-evaluate this tortuous diet I have subjected myself to (I'm dramatic, it wasn't THAT bad LOL). Why? Was this truly necessary? You don't even have food allergies. This is dumb Naja! Put the good ranch on dem damn wings and call it a day girl!

So there it commitment to whole 30 was a wrap. Gone. Done. Finished. I ate my wings in peace with the GOOD ranch and regret not one single part of it. :-)

Let's see what else happened.....

June 5th was my BIRTHDAY!! Woo Hoo!

Excited and Blessed to see another year for sure but with all birthdays, come a time of reflection. Time to reflect on the previous year, where I am with my goals and if my New Years resolutions are on track. Needless to say I have some work to do. I need to step it up in the worst way and step it up I WILL do. Not just with my blog, that part is obvious. Other areas that need some work right now are physically, mentally and spiritually. These things don't just fix themselves, you have to work at it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. It won't be easy and will require a ton of strength, discipline and focus no doubt. But there is no other alternative because being unhappy is a choice that I no longer choose.

So that's it, in a nutshell. Expect new content coming soon, I'll be trying out new things here on the blog so be sure to leave me your feedback and let me know what you're liking along the way. Interacting with you dolls really is the best and feeds my soul more than you know!

Have a happy 4th holiday loves and be safe!
 The Look:
Dress: Eloquii | Shoes 1: Steve Madden | Shoes 2: Payless (very old) | Bag: ShopBop | Shades: Quay 


Monday, May 8, 2017

WHOLE30 Week 1 Experience

Happy Happy Monday loves! 
Today I'm excited to share that for 1. I have started the Whole 30 and 2. I have stuck with it a full 7 days as of today!! Can I get a hallaluigh hand clamp please?! In this post I'm going to share with you my thoughts and lessons learned so far. 

So let's just start with the basics, what is Whole 30?! Whole 30 is basically a diet focused around eating Whole Foods in an effort to cut out food addictions and identify allergies or food sensitivies. I have been uncomfortable with my weight for some time but I also felt tired ALL. THE. TIME, was having stomach issues and pain in my knees. After much research I determined this was the diet for me. Ultimately, it is a kickstart to a much healthier lifestyle for me and after reading the rules and benefits I determined this was the diet for me! 

The rules are as follows: 

That's basically the gist of it. Now, most processed foods have some of these things in it so you need to be very careful with reading your labels. VERY careful. 

So let me admit right now, I FAILED the first week. 100% FAILED the whole30 program. I had 2 slip-ops and in the world of whole30, slip ups are not allowed and you FAIL the program. I will admit that I did not FULLY read the rules of this program before I started. Sadly, I purchased the book skimmed through the basics and checked out some recipes that I knew I could live with and jumped in. I did not do ALL my research. Little details caught me up this week. 

Fail #1. Chewing Gum. 
I chew gum just about everyday and didn't think twice about popping a piece of sugar-free watermelon in my mouth. Psssstt, FYI, chewing gum AND mints are NOT whole30 approved. 

Fail #2. Condiments
Ok now, this is tricky. There are some straight off the shelf condiments you CAN have such as Red Hot hot sauce but ketchup and salad dressings are a No-No. You can make your own ranch dressing but I will admit on one sleepy afternoon I caved to a dip or two....or three. I have since stocked up on the following whole30 approved condiments and feel mighty prepared for week 2!

Fail #3. I stepped on the scale. TWICE (EEEK!) 
I just couldn't help myself, I seriously just wanted to know if I was on the right track. Human moment and I honestly am NOT sorry for it. 

Hold up now, let's talk about my week 1 WINS! 
WIN #1. I have NO MAJOR slip-up
A MAJOR slip up for me is coffee. Starbucks coffee or Dunkin Donuts coffee, hell even the coffee I make at home is typically loaded with sugar and goodness and I will admit I am FULLY addicted to my one cup a day. I've had not a one. GO ME!! Other major slips for me are sodas, I was up to a 2 coca-cola a day habit before I started this challenge. SMH. No ice cream, I mean I LOOOOOVE me some ice cream. 

WIN #2. I'm cooking more
I have cooked every single day during this challenge and I don't mean heating something up in the microwave. It is not entirely uncommon for me to go a full week without turning on my stove. Shameful, I know. I actually really like to cook but I've learned that I do not like cooking for 1 person or eating alone. While I often eat alone it doesn't feel like it when I'm plopped in front of the TV, so fast food and then home to eat on my couch is normally the route. 

WIN #3. I feel better
Like, my stomach feels better. Less cramping and nausea. I know once I do it 100% (no more slips-ups) I will feel even better.

WIN #4. I've lost 6 lbs so far
WOO HOO!!! Seeing that number go down is all the motivation I need to keep going and confirmation this was the right thing to do. I am so so happy with win #4 that I can't wait to hit day 30. No more scale for me though, I promise. 

So that's it dolls, the good and the bad of my week 1 whole30 experience. I can't wait for week 2 and feel even more prepared with the right information and products at my disposal. If you would like more information on whole30 program visit this site HERE. Also, follow me on Insta-stories and Snapchat (@NAJADIAMOND) for my daily struggles and triumphs with this program. I've been having a lot of fun sharing what I love and don't love on this journey so far. I would love it if you would follow me along this journey and cheer me on if you can, even bit of encouragement helps!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

3 Spring Wardrobe Staples

Shop The Look:

If I could put 50% of my Spring wardrobe staples in one outfit it would be this look right here. All the beginnings of a great basics wardrobe all in one. The white top by Eloquii is a gem and just so easy to style with multiple looks, my fav is obviously the jeans and heels look, last styled HERE.

A good pair of torn denim is huge this season also. So versatile and this pair from Charlotte Russe fits me so great. Here are some other super affordable styles!

Last but not least this pair of espadrilles by UGG are the cutest most versatile shoe ever. They will be so cute with summer dresses and short shorts alike. I can't wait to rock these cuties all season long.


Friday, April 28, 2017

5 Ways to be Nicer to Yourself

The Look:
Top: Forever 21 Plus // Jeans: Charlotte Russe // Heels: Steve Madden //Bag: Coach
Shades: Quay X Desi Perkins // Earrings: Charming Charlie

1. Do unto YOURSELF as you would do unto others. Not sure why we as humans will have sympathy, compassion and understanding for a stranger but not for ourselves. You are worthy of the grace you would extend someone else. You would never (at least I hope you wouldn't) go up to another woman and tell her to her face that she is ugly, fat and stupid. You wouldn't dare. So why do you do it to yourself daily?? That woman looking back at you in the mirror is worthy of the same respect you would give another. Pray for her don't put her down.

2. Remember your wins. We are often so focused on our flaws that we forget to congratulate ourselves on our wins. Never forget your accomplishments because your so busy pouting about your failures. We are often so focused on where we're going that we forget the treacherous path we conquered to even get that far. Next time you forget take a moment of reflection and remember your journey up to this point.

3. Speak words of affirmation. Ok now hear me out...this really works! I used to see people doing this and was always skeptical thinking to myself does that really work? Can repeating the same thing over and over to yourself actually make your body do something or make your mind think something? The answer is YES! Tell yourself every single day that you are awesome, you are loved, you WILL be successful for just a few moments at the start of your day and see what happens. After all, if you can tell yourself the bad words over and over, "gosh I shouldn't have done that", "I'm never gonna pass", "I'll never lose this weight", what will it hurt to try it the other way around?

4. Do something nice for yourself. It can be something small. My suggestion is always to take a nice bath with a good book or buy a new lipstick and wear it boldly. I have to be careful with this because I like to buy stuff (haha don't we all) and will give myself ANY excuse to do so. So my action of doing something for myself usually doesn't involve me spending money. A nice bath or talking a walk at a park I keep passing or cuddles with my puppy all counts as DOING something nice for Naja.

5. Forgive yourself. Ok now this is a big one. You will fail at times...often. You will most certainly fall short once or twice but you must always remember that you are HUMAN and you were built with flaws. I am particularly hard on myself because I truly know me, I know what I'm capable of. I am incredibly smart, strong, resilient, creative and resourceful; you have to be to have overcome some of the trials and tribulations that I have. So when I F up or fall short I'm hard on me because I know I could have done better. But the thing is we have to fail to learn the lesson and you have to learn the lesson in order to grow. GOD forgives so you should too, start with yourself.

What are some ways you dolls are nice to yourselves? I want to know in the comments below!


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