I’m not sure where you live, but you can find me in the heart of the south which is Georgia. Our seasons are sporadic so it’s quite common for us to experience “snow”, at least our version of snow which is primarily rain and ice, in February and March. These months are very complicated times for me and I’m sure other fashionistas as well. Some of you guys probably feel comfortable with throwing on a pair of sweats and the only accessory you’re trying to wear is a warm hat. However, if you’re willing to still make an impactful attempt at fashion in the midst of this upcoming crazy weather, I have the best fashion trends that will keep you feeling and LOOKING HOT.
Let’s get to it!
“AS IF! WHATEVER!” Clueless is Back!
I had decided to bring my preppy school skirts and sweaters back into my wardrobe way before it became a winter trend. Clueless is one of my favorite movies so anytime I have the opportunity to pay homage to Cher and Dionne, I’m all the way down!
Whether you decide to stay warm with an oversized plaid coat or sashay to work in a fabulous pair of ankle pants trimmed in plaid, you’re definitely on trend.
Oh, and here’s a side note for my curvaceous cuties. Please don’t believe the hype when people claim bigger women can’t wear plaid. It’s a myth! There are numerous options of plaid for every size, so don’t be afraid to flaunt your assets!
HOP IN YOUR FOXY RIDE AND JOIN THIS PSYCHEDELIC JOURNEY BACK TO THE 70S!
Speaking of plaid, let me go ahead and inform you guys that the 70s are here to stay. A lot of our mom’s fashion was reintroduced to our generation last summer and I guess it decided to stick around this winter, too! I personally believe some of these 70’s trends are also inspired by our London brothers and sisters, but that’s just me. These trends are giving me a UK vibe and I’m loving every bit of it. Right on!
IT’S TIME TO SHOW THE MODEST WOMAN SOME LOVE!
Finally, overly sexualized and barely covering the “goodies” clothing are long gone this season. Although there will be plenty of girls freezing their behinds off anyways, which is fine if that’s your style and flavor, but for the rest of us, we can enjoy the delicate and elegant pieces of a modest woman’s wardrobe…with a twist. I guarantee you if you take part in this trend, “boring” will not be an adjective to describe your outfits. Circle skirts, blouses, pencil skirts, and the obvious sweaters are still in style but they have an extravagant touch to them now. Think of over exaggerated puffy sleeves, mixed matched patterns, and oversized designs. It’s big and loud this winter, which puts a unique spin on the typical Jackie O style that comes to mind when you think modest.
THE “FLAIR-ER” THE BETTER!
Flair is in again! It’s here and I’m loving it. You know, sometimes I just don’t feel like fighting with a pair of skinny jeans. A nice tailored pair of wide legged trousers look good on every woman. If you’re not the trendy type of gal, at least give this one a try!
Most of the trends this season are bold so why not give you the loudest trend of them all: bright colors! Leave those ordinary sad and cold winter colors in the closet because this year, it’s all about your bright pinks, yellows, and greens! Any traditional Easter color will do so stand out this season, and make everyone remember your name!
Well, at least your outfit, girl!
My husband and I are quickly approaching our one year anniversary and I cannot believe it!!! It’s so beautiful to me when I talk to friends who desire to be married and have a beautiful sparkle in their eye, signifying their hope toward one day experiencing a covenant love all their own. It reminds me of when I was her and she was me.
I remember having a conversation with a married friend years ago (she has been married for over eight years and my now husband and I were dating for three at that point). I said to her “I can’t wait to experience the beauty of marriage!” Her response was simply a soft-spoken response, “It’s not what you think it will be.” I immediately thought this:
Wow. Why would she say that? What does that mean? Maybe experiences allowed her to become jaded, but I will not allow them to get me to that place. I will never speak that same words to a woman dreaming and hoping for her time and season of marriage.
Now, almost 5 years later… I am meeting my dear friend for lunch as a married woman, almost one year in— and I get it. I get her beautiful, honest, yet graceful response to my inexperienced perspective. Her words years ago prepared planted a seed of remembrance for me.
When I think of her statement now, I ask for forgiveness for the judgement; I pray for her continued strength as a wife and mother; I pray for myself, that I may grow into that level of grace within my own marriage; and I remind myself to be gracefully honest with the women I love so dearly who desire to follow the same path.
Marriage is absolutely beautiful. It also requires an act of selfless love that we’ve never experienced before. Parenthood is an agape love through nature and nurture. When dealing with two grown adults, the act of agape must be learned and developed over time. I’ve so thankful for her love toward me to tell me an open truth, and I want to encourage other beautiful women with the same level of advice.
As you dream of your upcoming marriage that you’ve prayed for fervently, also pray for grace to see His creation through His eyes, and not your own. Our vision is flawed but His is the view of beauty that we desire.
Corporate America is full of great opportunity and deep land mines. As you climb the corporate ladder, it’s critical that you learn the career pitfalls through shared wisdom instead of personal experience. Although experience is the best teacher, learning from others can help you miss the mistakes and mishaps that could be avoidable.
Here are five words of wisdom that were passed on to me from career mentors and professionals:
- Stop asking if you can have it all. Men have been doing it for years, so the question is unnecessary. Just go after what you want and just do it.
- Balance is not only important but it’s necessary. Don’t spend so much time investing in work that you forget the ones and things that truly matter.
- Attire does matter so dress for the job you want, not for the job you have.
- If you’re in the midst of a difficult conversation via email, it’s best to type your response and hold off on sending it.Walk away or come back to it later in the day to review the draft.This will allow you the opportunity to ensure the appropriate tone and response. When in doubt, save draft.
- Do not participate in gossip. Simply don’t do it. People that you think are not paying attention, see and hear it all and your association with the drama can become detrimental to your career growth.
What are some words of wisdom that have helped you navigate your career?
An unfortunate reality centers around the need for higher education in America and the lack of resources and support around educating students (and alumni) about student loan debt. it is the responsibility for the borrower of the student loans to learn the various outlets, payment plans, and resources available to them.
For people like me, I have both private and federally funded student loans. Federal loans are regulated by the government and often have lower rates and loan forgiveness plans for respective fields. Private loans are at the discretion of the lender and often vary through the terms and conditions within the loans.
Some people accept that student loans are a part of life and plan to pay them for the rest of their lives; I refuse to be one of them. As crazy as it sounds, I’ve always declared that I will be free from student loan debt– or all debt for that matter. As I began my journey last year, I found out some things that are truly eye-opening, and worth sharing with you.
Student loans can never be included in a bankruptcy.
Contrary to all other forms of debt, by law student loans can never be forgiven into any form of bankruptcy. They are also transferrable after death (which will be noted within the terms and conditions). This means that for some, family members and loved ones will be responsible for your debt after you die.
Private Loan interests can roll into the principal amount, and it’s legal.
When I originally signed for my loans– my collective amount for undergrad was approximately 35K. during my forbearance period after graduation, the principal grew from 35K to 55K. How in the world did that happen?! Well, during forbearance periods after graduation, the maximum amount of interest accrues on the loans. Once your forbearance period is over, the lender can transfer your interest amount to the principal, essentially securing the payment of that interest for that time given. The worst thing anyone can do is continue to place student loans in forbearance when they have the funds to pay them. It will only hurt you in the long run.
Co-signers can be released.
After you have paid your loans for some time and have made on-time payments, borrowers can request the lender to release the co-signer from the responsibility of the loan. There are quite a few required steps to make this happen (like an age requirement, credit check, proof of income, etc.) but it’s worth investigating. Im sure the co-signer will be grateful.
Loan consolidation is not always best
With student loans, borrowers can consolidate (also called refinance) student loans ONE time during the lifetime of the loan. Most decide to do that to minimize the multiple interest rates, which can ultimately lower the monthly payment. For those who want to pay the loans off before the expected term end date, loan consolidation may not be best. Why? With a large loan amount, it’s much harder to pay that off vs. multiple small loans. It’s easier to see a “light” at the end of the tunnel if you’re focusing on paying off a student loan of 10K instead of a large loan of 80K. If you go this route, always tackle your lowest loan first and use the Dave Ramsey Domino effect and move to your next loan to pay off.
Student loan debt doesn’t have to be a part of our lives for the rest of our lives (and potentially the remaining lives of your loved ones). Be proactive and get educated on the options that are available to you!
Do you have any additional tips to share?
As women, and even people in general, it is easy to get caught up in the hype and lose yourself completely. So often we agree to do things with or for people because we don’t want to disappoint them. And when we do say no, it is a huge problem or at least we feel as if it is. But, what about you? Why should you always be the one to give in? Now, I am not saying never do anything for anyone ever again, but I am saying be intentional with who and how you spend your time.
In our world, being selfish has gotten a bad reputation and rightfully so. However, sometimes it is okay to be selfish, when it is the right kind of selfish. You can’t constantly give yourself without taking the time to re-energize. Now, this may be the introvert in me, but there is nothing better than taking a night to be completely by myself, doing whatever I WANT. Whether I take to time to write, read a book, take a relaxing bubble bath, drink a glass of wine, or just let my mind wander until I fall asleep, it is just nice to have that time be about me and only me. I love my friends, coworkers, and family, I really do, but I have learned to love myself a little more. I began to see a difference in the way I felt about myself and treated others after I started taking some time for me. And let me tell you it was much needed mood change. I used to feel bad for telling my friends I couldn’t go out with them or telling my boss that I couldn’t stay that extra hour, but I realize that it was best for my well-being that I do less when necessary and I encourage you to do the same thing!
This time alone doesn’t have to be boring, but it should be all about you and what you like. If you want to go to a museum, do it! A trip to a new city, do it! Wine tastings, do it! Sit in your house and do absolutely nothing but watch Netflix, do it! You deserve to treat yourself to a little me time at least monthly, I promise you won’t regret it. DON’T completely shun people out of your life or neglect your responsibilities, but BE the right kind of selfish. YOU ARE WORTH IT!