One Piece, Multiple Ways

August 6, 2020

A cozy, flowy and neutral jumpsuit is exactly what you need in your closet right now.

First things first: Hi, friends. Damn, do I miss everyone. It's been quite a while since my last post - almost feels like another lifetime ago (and yet, like not nearly enough has improved) - and I genuinely can't believe we're on the cusp of summer and fall. I don't have the words to describe these past few months (I hear "unprecedented" is a common adjective...) but "tragic" pretty much sums it up for me. Let's be real: between one thing and another, this year has been tough. Despite moments of pure gratitude, glimmers of hope and finding beauty in the slower pace, I experience days when I'm stunned with anxiety, sadness, "how did we get here?" confusion and longing for the day when we can comfortably embrace each other, mingle with strangers (what I would give to have someone accidentally spill their drink on me at a bar), and live in a more peaceful and unified world. Nevertheless, at the end of each day, I go to sleep extremely thankful for the health and well-being of my family and friends, and that's all that truly matters. I pray you and your loved ones are safe and sound, too. 

While I initially planned my next post to be something more impactful (I promise more of that is on its way) truthfully, I need a break from our harsh current reality. Since I'm still adhering to stay-at-home guidelines for the most part (going on month 6, but who's counting?) I've been finding joy in a variety of "safe" ways. And online shopping has been one of them.

I'm very fortunate to still be working, and while I've made it my priority to spend my money responsibly (including donating to different organizations and people in need) when it comes to leisurely spending, I aim to support local eateries and shops. A couple months ago, I came across a Miami boutique, Aria Rose, and was immediately impressed by its beautiful pieces. That being said, budgeting is still very important to me, so I've been reaching for pieces that are not just affordable, but versatile and able to transition seamlessly from summer to fall, day to night, and casual to elevated. This round-neck, wide-leg jumpsuit can do all of the above. It's flattering on different body types, ridiculously comfortable - both soft and stretchy - and includes pockets, which I really appreciate. I was so thrilled with the purchase that my creativity came out to play the second I put it on, and I came up with several looks to help convince you that a cozy, flowy jumpsuit is exactly the piece you need in your closet right now.

Here are a few ways to style your favorite jumpsuit:

1. Just the Jumpsuit + White Sneakers, Strappy Heels or Sandals
Comfy yet Cool

A daytime version (and how I actually wore this when I ran errands). Jumpsuit: Aria Rose (tag says entro); 
Sneakers: Vans (purchased from Urban Outfitters); Earrings: Target ($4 on sale rack!)

An elevated evening version. Heels: Target (brand is A New Day); Necklace: Zara (similar options on
  Bauble Bar and Gorjana); Earrings: Lauren Nicole.

2. Under a White, Rolled-Cuff, Short-Sleeve Top + White Sneakers
A street-style inspired look for when it's just a liiiiittle breezy out

Ribbed Pre-Cuffed White Top: Aria Rose (similar option on Asos); Sneakers: Vans; Earrings: Target; necklace gifted (similar options on Bauble Bar and Gorjana)

3. With a Black Faux Leather Jacket, White Pointed Booties and a Black Belt
Perfect for a fun night out (whenever we can do that again...)
Black Topshop Faux Leather Biker Jacket: Nordstrom; Western Belt: Target; White Booties: Lauren Nicole (similar here); Earrings: Francesca's

4. Under a Black Sweater + White Pointed Booties
For when the temperature drops

Black Sweater: Zara (similar here); Earrings: Lauren Nicole 

5. Over a Black Short Sleeve T-Shirt + Black Sandals (Optional Denim Jacket)
A different way to wear it casually

Black Vintage Collection T-Shirt: Madewell; Chunky Small Hoop Earrings: Madewell (similar pair); Black Multi Strap Slide Sandals: Target (A New Day - currently available from this seller but I also love this pair from Lulu's)

Denim Jacket: American Eagle 

6. Over a White Short Sleeve T-Shirt + White Sneakers (Optional Denim Jacket)
Another street style-inspired look

White T-Shirt: American Eagle (similar here); Sneakers: Vans; Earrings: Madewell; Necklace: Zara

Denim Jacket: American Eagle (tip: my favorite denim jacket is from Old Navy - oversized, faded and even more affordable than this one!) 

7. With a Cape Blazer + Simple Strappy Heels
Works for the office, a show, dinner or event 

Cape Blazer: Who What Wear for Target (available from this seller on Poshmark and if you don't like the cape look, I love my Shawl Collar Open Front blazer from Forever 21); Heels: Target (A New Day); Pedicure: Needed ASAP. 

Aria Rose is currently sold out of the jumpsuit, but you can sign up to be notified of its restock! I also love this option from Zara, which includes a belt. 

I'll provide different scenery, include more accessories and showcase different hair styles and makeup looks the next time around. In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts and ideas below! 

Stay safe, be kind, and keep finding joy and inspiration wherever and however you can. xx

A Letter to Myself Three Weeks Ago

March 30, 2020

If I could go back in time and talk to myself three weeks ago, I'd say this:

You’ve always been a very sentimental, empathetic, “big picture” person. It is both your greatest gift and your biggest burden. You have the gift of stopping yourself every now and then when you’re about to make a frustrated remark to your parents (okay…or lose your shit), by reminding yourself that so many people wish they could fight with their parents, and you need to appreciate that yours are here right now. You decide against complaining any more about living at home, because you know that in the long run, you will look back on this time with love and gratitude that you spent some of your adult years back in your childhood home with your parents and sister. You stare at the people you love a little longer, and hug them a bit tighter every time you say goodbye, knowing life can throw a curveball and any moment could be the last.

All of this makes you very appreciative. It also makes you incredibly anxious.

And, although you’ve always been good at taking the time to look around and appreciate everyone and everything in your life, you have no idea just how much you’ll appreciate it all three weeks from now.

Three weeks from now, you’ll miss being stressed at work. You’ll miss being restless when you get stuck in a bad traffic jam. You’ll miss getting irritated at strangers for spilling their drinks on you at a crowded bar or blasting their music next to you at the beach. You’ll miss being dragged out on a night when you’d rather stay in. You’ll miss ordering popcorn at the movie theatre only to find it tastes stale. You’ll miss being at the mall for hours, only to find there was nothing you liked in your size. You’ll miss feeling stupid when you screw up a position at a yoga class. You’ll miss the auditions you know you bombed. You’ll miss long lines at airports, the crying baby on the plane, the smelly uber you ride in on the way to your destination. You’ll miss the long waits to sit at restaurants, the mediocre food you paid too much for, and the drink that made you do regrettable things. You’ll miss the shows that were disappointing, worrying about getting a parking ticket, getting off at the wrong exit, and realizing the barista got your coffee order wrong. You’ll miss the moments that didn’t go as planned, but allowed you to be a human, next to other humans, out in the world and ready to seize the day.

You’ll really miss being able to hug, kiss, and curl up on the couch with the people you love without wondering if it could hurt them.

You’ll miss the days when the endless face-to-face conversations, handshakes and cheek kisses at a packed event overwhelmed you. 

You’ll miss simply saying “bless you” when someone sneezes, and not having to worry every time you hear a cough. 

You’ll miss knowing what life was like before you felt wildly helpless as you learn that tens of thousands of people around the world are dying - and more will die - from something you fear is already lurking in your neighborhood, in your home, in your body and in the bodies of the people you love.

All of this will terrify you, confuse you, anger you and break your heart. It won’t feel real, and yet, the changes and losses will be palpable. 

But, in all this darkness, looking past the things you miss, you will discover a newfound gratitude for so many people and so many things. These are all people and things you’ve taken the time to appreciate before, yes - but never like this. 

Three weeks from now, you’ll be living in a completely different reality. So will most of the world. Fear will creep up along with every cough. You’ll worry, as you often do, for the health and safety of your family. You will be horrified by what you see and hear on the news. The economy will start to crumble. So many people will lose their jobs. Many will lose so much more. Life is about to feel like an episode of Black Mirror, and it's going to break your heart. 

But, you will also be inspired and comforted by the love, unity, courage and kindness you’re about to witness. It will be unlike anything you’ve experienced before in your adult life. 

You will have never appreciated your family, your friends, your pets, your home, your neighborhood, your backyard, your neighbors, your bike, your job, water, food, doctors, nurses, PAs, hospital workers, first responders, truck drivers, grocery and factory workers, bankers, restaurant workers, delivery drivers, pharmacists, product manufacturers, researchers, technology, social media, streaming services, WiFi, books, and so much more the way you will in three weeks. 

Right now, you're dancing and singing the night away with the majority of your family. You know this monster is on its way, and that this will likely be the last time you see your whole family for weeks. But you don't know just how many weeks that will eventually grow to become. My advice to you? Put the phone down (you’ll have plenty of time for that later) and take a look around you. Savor every single thing you see, hear, and feel. Know that, despite the ugliness life is about to throw your way, you have so, so much to be thankful for - and let that keep you hopeful in the weeks and months to come. 

When the fear and sadness of it all overwhelms you - and it will several times - just breathe. Allow yourself to break down and cry. Step away from the sad news every so often. I know it's hard. You often feel those who suffer deserve to have their stories heard and felt, but you can only control so much, and sadness won't serve you well now. Focus on what you can control. Laugh. Enjoy this time with your family and pets, all gathered safely under the same roof. When it gets tough, remember how lucky you are to have each other. FaceTime the people you miss most. Call your abuelas. They're going to be struggling with this more than the rest of your family. Express your gratitude to those on the front lines. Make donations. And now, more than ever, remember to say those three important words to the people who mean the most to you. Because what the world needs now, is love. 

“Always look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” - Mr. Rogers.