Somewhere along the road I started having panic attacks. They came out of the blue. I was terrified. I was confused. I thought I’d die. More and more things started making me anxious. About two years ago I decided to claim back my life. Past December was another huge step in getting closer to a life free of ungrounded fear. I was out and about, doing lots of things I hadn’t done before. I learned how the wave of fear travels thru me. And how I am to let it pass. Not paying attention to it. yet accepting that this is my challenge. We all have one.
Fashion has played a big role in my staying connected to what I love, regardless of other stuff going on in my life. Fashion allows me to find myself groovy. As I choose my daily frocks and accessories, I also reaffirm my personality. I communicate to the world who I am. This feels good. I feel like I come closer to the person I wish to be. If I lack in courage, my trendy clothes can help me in feeling stronger.
My fashions are mostly far from expensive. Even with a small budget I succeed in finding unique things. Clothes that have that “notice the detail” to them. I also am very generous with “party” or “evening wear” pieces in my daytime life. Little sparkle always suits my style eye. I pay attention on details – pretty, well-taken care of nails, accessories that match up to the last little one or prints that marry on the color scheme.
I used to live in the fashion mecca, Paris. There latest trends were for anyone to grab. Models crowded the streets twice a year. Now back on Stateside, my fashion inspiration has had to change. Oftentimes I’m the only one on my metrobus rocking feathers and fur. But that gives me the space to “be the fashionista on the town”. Less peer inspiration, more special quality to you. Whether you stomp on the trendy grounds or are in the middle of what is considered a non-fashionland, you can make your fashion life happen. The way you go about is just a little bit different.
Today I cannot but write about Paris. In my heart I feel American, yet a part of me will always belong to Paris. My life there had such an impact on me. Years 2002-2012 spent in Paris were sweet and a dash tough, too. I will just remember the sweet. Yesterday Paris was attacked. The dangerous situation persists.
People were killed in the name of religion. My Christian faith is super important to me. My God is so powerful that I do not need to do any act on His behalf. He is able to act on His own. I do not need to judge for Him. He’ll take care of that. All I am to do is to read God’s word, the Bible where He explains how He wishes me to live this life, and to my best ability to be in contact with my Father thru prayer. Most importantly, I am to acknowledge that alone I am doomed but that if I believe in Jesus the doors to eternal life are open for me. My God offers this to all who wish. The ones who don’t, that’s an option, too. My God offers love. Only love. And the peaceful freedom of choice.
Today I weep. I hurt for Paris. I curl up inside of myself asking “am I ready to leave this life as unexpectedly as these cartoon artists and journalists in Paris yesterday did?” I place my trust in Jesus. I do my best in staying hopeful and courageous. Also thankful for the life I’ve been able to have so far.
Today has felt dark. It seems important to voice out my thoughts though. Love is the base of all. I wish to act in love. That said, I’m perfectly imperfect. I do my best in believing in God and in living this life so that every day matters, even a little bit. I try to leave a sweet caring aroma behind me as I venture on.
Thru this blog I wish to spread joy. I also hope to encourage those who are dealing with the same things I have been dealing with. I’ve been open about my struggles with eating disorders and depression because I feel that it matters. What I’m having to go thru teaches me lessons that I feel compelled to share.
Fashion is my way to live life in a fuller way. I cannot always make everything perfect but I can render things sweeter on another level by finding beauty and excitement around me and on me thru my clothing choices.
Today here I stand – a Christian fashionista, a world citizen. I want to have the courage to stand tall behind my beliefs. Love is what I want to promote.
I love New York City. I love pink. I love Starbucks coffee. Life’s essentials, huh. I also love latino music, jogging, modern art museums, the Atlantic Ocean and mini skirts. Traveling is where I decide to invest. I think it’s awesome living close to New York. The Big Apple gives me what Paris used to. That metropolis vibe which is sweet and challenging at the same time. It’s a bit of a battle for your space, yet when you do make it, do find your place in the big mess, it feels even sweeter.
New York and Paris are largely a state of mind. That feeling of excitement on daily basis. Looking up and around and saying to yourself “am I lucky to be here right now.” That very sentiment is something that you can bring to your life wherever you are. First, let’s think. What is it about NYC that entices me? The cafes that keep looking for new creations, artsy things happening here and there, little affordable clothing stores on the corner of Canal Street and Broadway and cute parks where to pause and read a magazine or to journal.
I have all of those around me. Three Starbucks coffee shops are within 15 minutes from my condo. Two Second Cups and one Tim Hortons. There are also two gourmet coffee shops that I know of nearby – visiting them is on my new year’s to do list. The art scene in Quebec City differs a bit from New York City, nevertheless, there are lots of galleries to visit. And to do more things myself. Isn’t it sweeter to be a doer versus a spectator? As for clothing stores, I have found Limite and Bedo, also Dynamite, Sirens and of course the good ol’ H&M. There are plenty of parks in my neighborhood. My favorite is my Central Park.
This is what life is about. Finding sweetness in your life where you are, and then being inspired by your travels. Carrying that something special with you so that it can keep shining when the situation is long gone.
The Empire State of Mind…
My friend, hubs and I ventured out to Red Rooster – a resto bar in Harlem owned by the African-born, Sweden-adopted, now America-living chef Marcus Samuelsson. I had a delish Harlem-inspired drink with crushed grapes, vodka and agave syrup accompanied by some mouth-watering spiced nuts. The restaurant is a bit pricey but the drinks and nibbles at the bar are affordable. The service was, to my taste, a bit too cold but maybe I was expecting a wrong thing. You know, that Harlem easygoingness.
My friend had heard about the new joint. I was glad when she showed clear passion in taking us there. I like when people get excited about something. It’s fun to hop along the ride. We first walked our way up in Central Park, then ended up finishing off by subway. Harlem was as lively as ever.
Decoration at Red Rooster. The baubles reminisce chef Marcus’ past and influences. He says that Harlem is the place where he finally feels at home.
This is what New York is about… embracing new drink and food experiences. Getting to know those talented folks that come here to find who they can be, the better version of themselves. Admiring their hardworkingness and perseverance. Learning from their example. Using that as a motivator.
I just had to experience this! My wish for my birthday. A Sex and the City Hotspots Tour in NYC. I realized that regardless of having watched the series and movies at least twice if not three times thru, I wasn’t as tuned in into the details of it all as were some other chicks on the bus. Nevertheless, it was a blast – taking in as much as I wanted of the knicks and knakcs of info and then just enjoying the atmosphere, and seeing Manhattan from a new perspective.
We stopped where the girls first encountered the Vibrator Bunny. Then we got to take a look at the insides of one of the restaurants where Carrie and the gang often met for delicious food and even more delicious lip talk. We had pink cupcakes in the Meatpacking District – Samantha’s stomping ground – and sipped Manhattan’s best Cosmos at a chic bar. The look on the guys faces when they saw a bus full of trendy chicks embank the joint! Single men, look the place up…
I got to enjoy all the fun with my NYC bestie. It was cool how our lives and stories, catching up on the latest, sharing advice and so on, intertwined with the tour. Three and a half hours later, when dropped off in Midtown, I felt refreshed and encouraged. Fiction had brought groove to my current daily life. It was there to help me find the sweetness in what I was doing here and now.
That is the positive way how we should use media – TV shows, blogs, Instagram feed, you name it. Being mindful about it supporting our lives, not pulling us down into comparing our lives to imagined or beautified stories. Life in Manhattan will never be as Manolo-blahniki-sugarcoated as it is for Carrie and Co. on the screen. Yet true life can be sweeter if we spice it up with a good amount of fiction. The way we perceive a situation can make a huge difference.
I try to be ‘clean’ about my media use. I take turns in using Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. I don’t try to do all at once. I watch TV in the evenings after my sports are done. When I dive back into Sex and the City, it is more like a scented candle, focusing on the ambiance rather than one specific detail. I try to soak in the girls’ fearless and funky attitude.
And then there are days when I light a cinnamon candle and I enjoy a little bit of good old journaling and fashion magazine reading. This is mindful media enjoyment – I try to be tuned into what I need at this very moment in order to be at my best.
Thanksgiving is around the corner. I like this holiday. It’s so American. Thanking for making it to the other side of the Atlantic. Leaving the old behind and making something new of your life. I love my country – the U.S. I hold the American spirit and history close to my heart. This is the land of opportunity. Doors are open for you to make of yourself whatever you desire. I strive on doing my best everyday. In my case, it is surely paying off. Two and some years in business, and I’m fully employed. Doing what I love – spending my days discussing in English, encouraging people and being there “just for them”.
This season is full of delicious impulses to senses. Smells and visual effects. Fashion picks up these cues. Fall and winter trends throw us with black in many forms. At the moment, I find it fun dressing in black from head to toe.
In this outfit I wanted to combine the chicness of faux leather – pants and jacket, with the “Holy Chic” spiced up black sweater. There are the elements that cherish – chic and a dash of shock. Color accents, the red collar peeking out and my purple gloves also make the ensemble more feisty.
When you want to feel happier in your life, think of all the things that you now have and you are grateful for. It is super simple yet when you really get into it, when you’re really able to do so, it will open a whole new world, right where you are. That extra free hour from working will feel super sweet. The old route to the office will appear so unique, you are there to see it today. Jillian Michaels has said that most people don’t show up in their own lives. I want to be present in mine. Nothing is perfect, but perfect is boring. Real life has all the flavors – we go thru lots of stuff and that’s when we shout out “Holy Chic – we rock, after all!”