The BEST Band Tees 2019

The BEST Band Tees 2019

No doubt about it, graphics are IN and vintage inspired Band Tees are what is going ON right now. Not that they’ve ever essentially been “out of style” but the reality is that Band Tees have reached an all time peak on the style-meter and I, being an adoring fan, have a TON. During this summer-to-fall transition period stocking up on Band Tees is great because while you can knot them with your high-waisted mom shorts now, you can easily pair them with a cardi, jeans, booties and a wide-brim hat in a few months.

Since I do consider myself somewhat of a connoisseur of all things graphic and tee shirt related, I put together a round-up of my favorite band tees and where to find them for every price range.

Free People These tees have a great “lived in” feel. They’re on the pricier side of things, but the comfort level is exceptional and the styles are super vintage inspired.

“”/>

American Eagle American Eagle has recently stepped UP their graphic tee game. The washes are the softest cotton and a lot of the band designs are really unique looking. Best part of these is that they are all Under $50!

Urban Outfitters Still nestled under $50 and mimicking Free People’s cozy worn in level. A lot of these are oversized making them great to pair with leggings or bike shorts & Vans for a casually cool look.

Amazon While the cotton on a lot of these isn’t exactly “lived-in” comfortable, these options under $30 are great. A lot of these designs are classic, timeless tributes to iconic bands making them easy staples to any wardrobe.

Forever 21 & Target These options are all under $30. I will say the online choices are limited so it’s much easier to search in-store at both retailers to find a good tee. At Forever I’ve been gravitating towards the plus size collection, going up a size and wearing it as a tee shirt dress. Super comfy & cool AF.

Shop My Looks

Orlando’s Closest Beach

Orlando’s Closest Beach

Feels great to be back blog fam! I had some issues with the site for a while but thankfully we’re finally back up and running and I promise to never ever ever ever ever take my website for granted again. Since Summer is coming to a close I wanted to make my first post back a great recap of the weekend the boy’s and I spent over at Cocoa Beach last weekend. Cocoa Beach is Orlando’s Closest Beach and as such I love taking the boys there because there’s not too much drive time.

Just 45 minutes East of Orlando you’ll find the quiet little community of Cocoa Beach. Driving around the strip the beach has a ton of cute vintage shops as well as several scrumptious local food to partake in. Since I’m currently working two jobs at the moment, taking a little break in the action and having a short beach getaway was just what I needed. The first night we were there we hung out at the pool/pool bar, and walked to the beach to watch the sunset over the water.

Day 2 in Cocoa Beach was full of fun. We stayed at The Hampton Inn on Cocoa Beach and fully took advantage of the free breakfast spread when we woke up. (I’m such a sucker for a waffle bar station and theirs is LEGIT). After breakfast my parents took the boys down to the beach while letting me get some extra sleep, I have been tired ya’ll. I woke up and met them at the pool and we enjoyed that until it was time to get ready for check-out. After check-out we decided to CHECK OUT the area a bit. hahaaha I got jokes. First stop: a HUGE Ron Jon Surf Shop. There was live music, a starbucks within walking distance and a whole FLOOR of custom surf-boards. We literally spent hours walking around the place before Mom and I purchased some matching puka shell bracelets.

When picking a lunch spot, it was really important to me that we try something local that you can’t just find anywhere else, especially being from Orlando where we literally have every chain favorite option. We settled on Long Dogger’s because the restaurant looked super cute on the outside and for a beach spot they seemed to have a rather extensive menu. I got fish tacos and a $5 Sangria and couldn’t have been happier. Their menu mixes in bar food with fresh catches, so while I opted for Blacked Mahi Tacos, my step-dad got a burger that was topped with a split hot dog! No one walked away hungry from Long Doggers, that’s fa’sho.

Our last stop on our little Cocoa getaway was The Dino Store & Museum. Having two little boys, both my kids are OBSESSED with dinosaurs. While the museum was a bit of a reach for their interest, the Adventure Zone was where is was at. So many arcade games that were free to play with the price of admission, plus a live reptile room with a baby alligator and a small movie theater! It was perfect for them to burn off some energy before traveling back inland. I will say tho- if your little ones are REALLY little this isn’t the place for you. They have several HIGHLY BREAKABLE items displayed at toddler height with a “you break it you buy it policy” in the store where you have to purchase your tickets for the attractions in. Aside from almost having to spend $200 on a photo frame filled with taxidermied butterflys, it was an enjoyable tourist experience and a surprising find in a small beach town.

It was a short trip, but a great journey heading over to Florida’s Space Coast and checking out what Cocoa Beach has to offer. Have you been over to Orlando’s Closest Beach?

Oh I also forgot to mention, we walked into a local candy store for some salt water taffy and literally they had an alligator wrangler in the store with two alligators. Cash adored seeing them so closely, my mom- not so much.

Intentionally Single

Intentionally Single

I’ve had writers block for a while now. Legit last post was Valentine’s Day, but today I was in a funk and I think writing it all out is the best way to express what I’ve been feeling as of late. When I rebranded I wanted this blog to include fashion and travel, however I wanted to chat more about real life and less about the outfit I’m wearing.

When my marriage ended I immediately started dating someone else. That lasted off and on for about 8 months before homeboy straight up ghosted me on New Year’s Eve, and I’ve kind of been processing since then. For a while I blamed myself. Instead of focusing on all the positives about myself, I really dug deep into everything that was wrong with me. While I once was so self-aware, confident and in touch with my place in The Universe, I’ve been a little more of a mess lately.

So much of my life in marriage and even before was defined by the relationship I was in. I allowed the person I was with to bring me joy rather than find it on my own and when things ended I promised myself that wouldn’t happen again, yet found myself in the same place 8 months later.

I fall back into old habits really easily and this has been a hard one to break. Which is why I had to make this decision. I’ve messed around on dating apps and met people while out here and there, but for now I’m intentionally single. Making an active choice to force myself to work on me and find who I am with no distractions. Even just having preliminary feelings for a dude can easily lead me down a path where I stop exploring my purpose and start spending my energy on stressing about why a guy might not be texting back and it’s such an unhealthy way of thinking for me.

Until I can confidently state that I love where I’m at in life, until I can know without a doubt that my head won’t be full of doubts, until I can actually know what I want in a relationship I’m intentionally staying TF away from them.

Loneliness makes ya girl a little weak sometimes, but I have the best family and friends in the entire world. I’m actually moving in with my best friend next month and I CANNOT WAIT! Here are some steps I’m taking to work on myself while staying intentionally single.

  1. Deleted ALLL the apps. Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, just took ’em right off the phone and deleted the accounts so I can’t drunkenly just re-download it without having to start from scratch and create a whole new account.
  2. Started Running. Away from my issues and to de-stress. I always start my run worried about something and by the end of it all I’m focused on is getting the fuck home so I can breathe again.
  3. Learning a new skill. I’ve literally had a ukulele for 2 years now and only learned 2 chords, so I’m really working on learning to play like I wanted to back in 2017.
  4. Writing more. Sometimes we have to process things and I write A LOT. I wrote a book about my experiences (working on the edits now), I write poetry like on a weekly basis, and now I’m really trying to get back into writing on the blog.
  5. Meditation. I’m the WORST when it comes to having a million things on my mind and stressing about all of them at the same time. Meditation really allows me to focus on my thoughts one at a time and release the stress surrounding them. When you’re able to choose your thoughts you start being able to let go of the ones that don’t serve you. I used to be v great at this but like any skill, lack of practice makes you rusty and getting back into it has been super helpful for having a positive mindset.

Next week I’m heading to Spokane, Washington with Avian and I can’t wait to explore all the beauty that Washington state holds! Next post will be much lighter, but I really wanted to put this out there for anyone who might be struggling with a similar situation. I’ll leave you with some words of wisedom from Bey

“Middle fingers up, put them hands high
Wave it in his face, tell him, boy, bye”

Shop The Post

5 Ways to Valentine’s when You’re Single

I got two Valentine’s: Jose Cuervo & Smirnoff Vodka lol. A lot of single people take the approach of being super anti-Valentine’s day. “Single’s Awareness Day” or whatever. I however, have always loved the holiday, so since it’s my first year celebrating single, I put together of ways to celebrate the holiday as a Single Lady.

  1. INDEPENDENT WOMAN the shit outta yo’self. Buy a fancy dress, a bouquet of flowers, some chocolates, and take yourself out to your favorite restaurant. Instead of sitting through dinner eating a salad so you don’t look like a fatty in front of your date, you can enjoy pizza & pasta & ALL THE M’FING CARBS. If you’re uncomfortable eating alone in a restaurant, bring a book or magazine to have something to keep you busy so you feel less awkward. Point is- you don’t need a man to love you and you CAN enjoy this holiday without one. Do you boo!
  2. Spa Day. Call in hooky from work if you want, but there’s nothing like a little self-care to make you feel amazing and forget about how you’re “supposed” to be sad that you have no one to celebrate this day of love with. Book a facial or a massage or BOTH and spend the day relaxing. I recently got the opportunity to check out Hand & Stone Spa and let me tell you they KNOW how to treat you like the Queen you are!
  3. Party til ya Pass Out. If your preferred Valentine is Vodka, why not take yourself to happy hour and beyond this Thursday? Tons of bars/clubs run singles mixers and specials for singles on Valentine’s day, so hop on Google and see what’s going on in your area. Maybe you’ll find your next ex-boyfriend while you’re out and about, who knows?!
  4. Family Time. This is the route I’m going this year since it is in fact my night with the boys. I’m going to meet my mom in Plant City with the boys and do dinner with an Improv show with my Mama. For starters basically no one will make you feel as loved as your parents and they’re amazing at keeping you company, plus they always pick up the check too! <3 10/10 would recommend family time always when you need a pick-me-up.
  5. Get Shit Done. Probably the least fun sounding of all the options here, but when we get busy with work there’s always something else we could work on. Clean out your car, finally organize your closet or that junk drawer in your kitchen, dust the baseboards, wipe down the fridge. Get some shit done you’ve been putting off. Making yourself feel super productive is a great way to not feel bad about spending the holiday by yourself.

Shop this Post:

You should go and love yourself <3 <3 <3

Vegas, Baby! – Day 3

Vegas, Baby! – Day 3

For our 3rd and final day in Vegas we had to take in ALL the remaining things on our to-do list. The first being seeing the Vegas sign. It’s definitely a must-do, but my recommendation is to go as early as you possibly can because the line to get photos gets really big, really fast. Thankfully being that we never really adjusted to West Coast time, we woke up relatively earlier than the rest of the city and were able to make it to the sign and only have to wait in line for about 10 minutes.

If there are things you have to skip to fit in more things on your trip, the Welcome to Vegas sign is something I’d save for next time. You’re literally just going up there to quickly take a photo and then head back down the strip, so it’s not anything CRAZY spectacular, UNLESS you get lucky like we did when we went. There was an actual real life Vegas wedding happening with an Elvis impersonator as the officient to the left of the sign, so while we waited for our pics we got to see a wedding, that was really neat and made the wait seem like nothing.

After the sign, we walked James around Old Las Vegas & then hit up The Venetian. While we considered going for a gondola ride, we decided to skip on that to have more time to walk around the stunning shopping center inside the Venetian, where we could observe other tourists get their rides. I had heard tale of the amazing shopping experiences in Las Vegas before I went, but truly they have some of the most beautiful retail therapy experiences I’ve ever seen in my life. The Venetian has a river running through it for the gondola’s and everything. It was like a small Italian escape from reality.

After lunch at The Venetian, Jawny was ready for a nap, so we went back to the Palms for a little siesta. While Jawny napped, James and I took in some sights at The Paris Hotel. It was sooo cute on the inside and the outside was spectacular as well. I love a good theme and this hotel’s theme was executed perfectly. Even the restrooms were detailed with French accents and paintings.

We stayed around the Palms for the remainder of the evening. Had to rest up for travel the next day, but that’s when I learned: YOU DRINK FOR FREE IF YOU’RE GAMBLING. Like Jawny and I had just been drinking at various places all weekend long and paying for our drinks. While at the Palms bar on our very last day, I put a $20 in the Black Jack game on the bar, then when I went to cash out at the bar, the bartender said “You don’t pay for drinks if you’re gambling.” LIKE WHAT, MIND BLOWN. Ladies and Gents when you go to Vegas always gamble because I would have saved sooo much money had I known this from the get-go!

All in all Vegas was an awesome experience. We were able to fit in so many things in our trip and really made the most out of each drunken day. I can’t wait to go back. Next time I go though, I really want to stay in Cesar’s Palace. Of all the casino/hotels we checked out, Cesar’s was by far the most detailed and funnest looking.

Nashville Style Guide

Nashville Style Guide

In the past 6 months I have had the pleasure of going to Nashville 3 times! One of my best friends, Haley, moved there in June and ever since I’ve taken every opportunity that presents itself to spend time with her there. Nashville is such an amazing city. Full of great music, culture, food, history… I mean basically you name it they’ve got it. From craft breweries to fancy high-end boutiques and everything in between.

I definitely plan on putting together a must-have list of places to check out on a trip to Nashville, but today I wanted to talk about the style of the city. On my first trip up there I had no clue what to wear but ended up bringing 12 outfits for 3 days and still went shopping while I was there. Now that I’ve been a few times now, I can managed to have styled outfits and not be tempted to spend big bucks in Hillsboro Village.

You can find lots of different unique style all over the city of Nashville, but for the most part, the locals are super casual. Everything is a bit more laid back and a denim jacket can definitely be substituted for a blazer in any setting. Here are some essentials I always bring with me when I’m headed to Tennessee.

A Denim Skirt. My go-to Nashville look is: denim skirt, vans, band tee & flannel. While right now the weather isn’t super great for that exact outfit, a denim skirt still gives you a staple you can mix and match with sweaters and layers throughout your trip.

Vans. When I’m in Nashville I tend to do a LOT of walking. While I love dressing up some sundresses and skirts with heeled booties, they aren’t exactly the most comfortable shoes to walk in, especially when you wanna discover fun new things on foot throughout the city during the daytime. I tend to bring Vans and at least one other casual sneaker option when I visit, so that I have comfortable and versatile shoes that not only look stylish, but also don’t give me blisters.

Wide-Brim Hat. There’s nothing that sets off an outfit more and screams Nashville to me like a wide-brimmed hat. It’s the perfect way to add some personality to a basic outfit without being over-the-top or “too country”. I’ll typically pair my hat with a simple dress, booties, and a denim jacket for an easy and casually cool outfit.

Flannel. Of any variety, often several. Last time I brought a flannel shirt and a flannel dress. It just works out there and makes your outfit super on trend without being overkill honky tonk.

A Denim Jacket. Pretty much a no-brainer here. It’s chillier at night than I’m accustomed to being from Florida, so this is a piece of outerwear I never leave home without.

Easy Dresses. Something I also bring several of on my trips to Nashville. They’re great to layer with cardigans and sweaters when it’s colder, and also look really great with casual sneakers when it’s warmer. I tend to go for flowier ones while I’m in Nashville to hide all the biscuits, bonuts, and fried chicken I tend to consume while there.

Bandana’s. I only own two but I bring both everytime I go. Adding a cute red bandana around your neck gives all basic outfits that extra bit of personality for the city. I also like to add them in my hair as either a headband or tie them around ponytails for a fun way to kick up my hangover hair.

Vintage Band Tees. No doubt about it, vintage band tees are a must have in Music City. I tend to bring 4-5 with me everytime I go. Some of my favorites are from Urban Outfitters, Free People and Wildfox Couture. I like dressing them up with block heels and skirts for a girls night out, but they also are super easy to throw on with sneaks and jeans for a day adventure.

I can’t wait to share some of my favorite spots in Nashville with you soon, but for now I’m loving the casual country style of this amazingly talented city.

New Year, New Me? Nah

I’ve never been one for New Year’s Resolutions tbh. Most of the time it involved losing some amount of weight if I did make one, but about 5 years ago I completely stopped making these “resolutions” for change. I mean, what was SO bad about the previous year that I needed to make changes? We gain weight, we don’t always live our healthiest lives, sometimes we might not make the best decisions for ourselves or hold unimportant things in a high priority position in our lives, but why wait for the new year?

I’m all about improvisational change as it presents itself to me, but I don’t make resolutions under the ruse of “needing” to change myself. I love who I am. Things I don’t love about myself I change on a case by case basis when it becomes a priority to me. For example last June I was really unhappy in my marriage. Was it hard to seperate before the holiday season? Fuck yes. Did that stop me? No.

Point being: we shouldn’t be afraid to dive in head first as soon as the want for change presents itself. We shouldn’t set unrealistic expectations for ourselves at the beginning of each new year. We should openly embrace the changes and goals we want to accomplish as soon as they pop into our brilliant minds. I do firmly believe that complacency is the root of all evil and that we should always be striving to be the absolute best versions of ourselves. However, I love me, and I love what I bring to the table. I don’t feel the need to change to get someone to like me more, and I don’t think that changing anything will make me like me more. I think I’m great the way I am but the more I do things that push me out of my comfort zone, the more I’ll evolve or “level-up” to achieve what I’m here for.

I’ve got goals for 2019, but don’t feel the need to share them because they are personal to ME, and I don’t like the idea of anyone comparing their goals to anyone else’s. What’s right for me isn’t right for everyone in the world. What applies to my life and my health won’t apply to everyone else. In 2019 I want to be happy, and that’s the only common goal we can all share.

This gorgeous dress from Simply Dresses was gifted to me for promotional purposes. It was the perfect thing to start 2019 in. Photos by Nikki A Hall.

The Call of the Wild

The Call of the Wild

Wild has basically two definitions according to Google:

  1. living or growing in the natural environment, not domesticated or cultivated.
  2. uncontrolled or unrestrained, especially in the pursuit of pleasure.

blondes go camping

For a big chunk of my life my friends and family have called me “Wild”, and I always took a slight offense to that up until this point in my life. See, while this separation has brought new challenges to my forefront and can be full of some sad trying times, it’s brought me to the beautiful realization that being wild is my nature and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I lived for a long time dealing with shame about my actions, feeling guilty for doing things that made me happy when other people would judge those actions as something other than the joy they were bringing me. I felt like it wasn’t ok to be wild. That being wild was a mistake within me that I needed to somehow tame. And try to tame myself I did. I got married, “settled-down”, had babies, all in efforts to become what other people around me were telling me I was supposed to be. To live a life that would be accepted by everyone else instead of judged. The day I realized my marriage was really truly over and no matter how much tame living I did there was no fixing it, I let all those flying fucks right out the window.

being wild camping canoeing florida state parks

I’m the kind of person in a relationship where I’ll literally give up who I am as a person in order to fulfill the wants/needs/desires of my partner. This is what I thought love was like, but at the end of all my relationships I’ve been left a shell of a person. Realizing, no wonder he left me I’m boring as shit and my life basically revolved around him. Ew, I know. Learn with me from my mistakes tho… When my marriage ended I made it a point to start to learn about myself more. See, I was at this point of being able to live the life I wanted to, but was unsure of what kind of life that was. Slowly but surely I found myself slipping back into my wild ways, but there was a new sense of power with them this time. I’ve discovered that if I could describe myself with one single word I would use the word Wild to do so. No regrets or shame surrounding it this time either.

 

You know that famous Eleanor Roosevelt quote: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Well that’s where I’m at right now. For so long I allowed others to make me feel ashamed for doing things that brought me joy. I allowed the judgement of others to rob the happiness from the fun I was having. This Summer I stopped giving other people my consent. I decided to be who I want to be and live the way I want to live. As long as no one is getting hurt what business is it of ANYONE’S what or who I’m doing with my life? My children are loved, well taken care of and living beyond blessed lives. On my days without the kids I literally do WHATEVER  THE FUCK I WANT. & it’s magical I swear. I’m proud to be wild.

In late August one weekend without the kids I woke up on Saturday morning and just decided to go camping. Out of no where. One of my best friends agreed to go with me and we just spent the weekend in the forest making s’mores and vibing out on music. We went canoeing in Springs, walked nature trails and built our own fire. It was badass and I felt a sense of calm in the wilderness that I’d never known before. I wasn’t afraid of the huge spiders because I felt in my natural habitat. Like where has camping been all my life?

Since then I’ve spent more time outside the past few months than I think I have my entire life combined up until this point. I feel a real connection to being outside. I feel free & connected to all the right things. While I love my online community I also adore being away from cell service, where no one can reach me and where I can’t cyber stalk any of my ex’s because I’m alone. Being able to disconnect from my phone has proved to be such an incredible experience for me. I like to find state parks in driving distance after work to go on hikes after a long day cooped up in the office, I like swimming in water so clear I can see the fishies around me, and I love going down a trail- not knowing where it will end just trusting that I’ll get to where I’m supposed to be at some point.

I recently went on my second adult camping trip with my brother a couple weekends ago and Ocala is AMAZING this time of year. I can’t wait to get back up there soon! The whole point of this post is: it’s okay to be wild. Even if we’re just coming from a lush standpoint, it’s okay to make the things that are pleasurable to you a top priority for you. And pleasure isn’t just found in sex, drugs, booze, and partying. I find pleasure in cooking a meal for myself from scratch, even if I’m the only one eating it. I find pleasure in dancing half naked in my kitchen to Taylor Swift on full-blast and not having to listen to someone bitch about it not being “real music”. I adore being able to finish a bottle of champagne in an hour if I want to just as much as I love being able to pack up a tent and a pillow and sleep outside for the night with only water and a cliff bar to sustain me.  I don’t understand where or when being wild became a negative thing to be, but IDGAF about how anyone feels about my wildness anymore. I’m forever trying to surround myself with natural elements, be unrestricted with the actions that bring me happiness, and live my life to the fullest, however wild that might be.

If you’re interested in going camping I added a few of my favorite inexpensive camping essentials, I definitely recommend trying it out. It was a ton of fun and if I can keep myself alive in the middle of nowhere anyone can.

Shop Camping Essentials 

 

 

 

Viva Las Vegas – Day 2

Viva Las Vegas – Day 2

There’s no sleep in Sin City, that’s for sure. Between going to bed LATE Vegas time and waking up early east coast time, we didn’t get much sleep. However, we were thrilled to get day two in Las Vegas started with some fun.

Our first stop was The Neon Museum, a graveyard of all the great Old Las Vegas signs. We had a wonderful time looking around at all the old signs and learning their history. I also have a whole post dedicated to The Neon Museum Experience, so I won’t spill TOO many of the details here.

the neon museum las vegas

After hitting up The Neon Museum, we decided to go check out Old Las Vegas/Fremont Street. The Fremont street experience is totally unique. It’s so much outside of the strip that it feels like it’s own version of the strip, just slightly more “vintage”. We grabbed drinks at a hotel I assume was only named after my own hearts desire, The D. Before walking right into Fremont East. Fremont East feels like where most locals go when they want to go out. There’s really cool dive bars and the prices are MUCH better than they are on the strip. There’s cool vintage signs everywhere, and everyone walking around just has that certain cool AF vibe.

the d las vegas

fremont east las vegas

Shop This Look

 

We ate lunch inside The Golden Nugget at The Paradise Buffet. This was an experience all in it’s own. While I can’t say that the food was amazing (it tasted pretty cheap, because it was pretty cheap), the way the restaurant is set up and all the gorgeous attention to detail in this Chinese Garden style cafe was worth the scavenge for decent grub. I felt like a princess in my pink plush booth, surrounded by ornate light fixtures and wonderful topiaries, definitely come for breakfast if you can – I’m sure their french toast is better than their lasagna and you’ll love being in the atmosphere this buffet offers.

paradise buffet old las vegas

paradise buffet las vegas

 

After lunch we went to the room to rest for a bit, then changed clothes and headed to Caesar’s Palace. Both Jawny and I had drink campaigns to shoot for there, and James was at the Black Jack table with a co-worker so it all worked out perfectly to spend the afternoon checking out the hotel part. After some casino exploration, Jawny and I stepped inside the Venus pool, on accident actually we were just trying to find a bar, and we walked into this 21+ area thinking it was like a club at the pool and then all of a sudden titties were out EVERYWHERE. While I am all about the free spirit lifestyle, I wasn’t in a mental state to pull my DD’s out at that point so we quickly got some God’s Mimosa’s from the bar and explored OUTSIDE the closed curtain. The pool at Caesar’s is truly unlike anything I have ever seen or experienced before in my entire life. The numerous statues, fountains and sculptures all in true Greco-Roman style where just magnificent to behold in person. Walking into the Garden of the God’s Oasis I felt really overwhelmed with the excitement and stunning amenities. Maybe it was the $30 perfect mimosa talking, but I honestly think I could just live my life at that pool area and be a content AF individual.

 

the gods mimosa ceasar's palace

garden of the gods oasis caesar's palace las vegas

garden of the gods oasis caesar's palace las vegas

Shop This Look

 

 

Since I was stupid and didn’t wear my bathing suit to Caesar’s pool, we headed back to The Palms and hit up their rooftop pool for a bit before changing clothes to have dinner at the AYCE buffet and going out for the evening. Our first stop that night was the Bellagio. I HAD to watch the fountains, which play a new song ever half hour. We missed the first one so we walked inside to check out the current conservatory art installation and grabbing a fancy drink at the bar.

bellagio las vegas

After a certain point, Vegas just seems like a bunch of the same stuff with a different theme surrounding it, but it’s still to go check out the different themes to each piece of real estate out there. We hit up The Cosmopolitan to have a drink at the ultra swanky Chandelier, took in the sights of the bright neon lights of the strip, then finally got prime viewing space for a wonderful fountain show at the Bellagio.

paris las vegas at night

The days and nights are long out in Vegas, so after the show we headed back to Fremont East to check out some of the hipper and cheaper night life. Our first stop was Commonwealth, a very Euro style pub with live music and a rooftop deck. While we sipped on cocktails we plotted our next stop, and decided on Beauty Bar. Beauty Bar was probably my favorite bar. It legit looked like a beauty salon inside, but instead of hair styling tools at every station, there were rows and rows of every liquor you could think of. They had some live hardcore music, which was a suprise given the very girly decor, but I was into it. I was beat after Beauty Bar since waking up at 7am, so we went back to the hotel for room service and bed right after so we could make the most of our final day in Vegas.

paris las vegas at night

The End is Only the Beginning- About the Separation

The End is Only the Beginning- About the Separation

The separation :

As a blogger, for me, you often go back and forth between how much REALness you wanna be real about…

And because I have no filter it can sometimes become a very thin line… but I do like to keep somethings to me.

For starters I like to keep my kids off IG. You’ll see me post pics and stories  here and there of them, and it’s not some kind of “I wanna keep my kids off social media thing” it’s just because for me, my IG is a creative outlet and I feel like it gives me an identity other than “mother”.

Secondly, my personal relationships, it’s not hard for me to share stories or posts of my friends bc 90% of them are bloggers. But when it comes to romantic relationships it’s a gray area for me.

My marriage ended this past May, for those of you who know my life or have been following me for a while, I’m sure you noticed when I stopped wearing my rings because they were pretty noticeable.

I want you to know I’m not writing this post to appease anyone, I’m writing this one for me. Sometimes, it’s easier for me as a person to compartmentalize by writing, so here we go.

James and I are really good friends and that’s all we’re ever going to be. I move into a new apartment on my own this weekend and while I’m very nervous and sad about the things I’m leaving behind, I’m also really excited to have this independence that I’ve grown to yearn for. This Summer I felt more free than I have in quite sometime. I traveled, I spent a lot of time with my friends, and I had SO much fun.

I’ve gotten a bunch of questions regarding the separation and I wanted to take a moment to answer them.

Q: I think some days I confuse friendship with love. Would you say you experienced this too?

A: 100%. At one point I basically just felt we were in a glorified roommate situation. I’d bitch when he didn’t pick up after himself, and we’d watch Netflix together a lot. We’re great friends and there’s a deep love in my heart that I do have for my friends, but as far as romantic, intimate love, it’s not something that was in my marriage for a long time. We just didn’t have that chemistry anymore.

Q: How are the kids handling it?

A: To be honest, I’m not sure that they grasp that we aren’t together anymore quite yet. Being that we have still been living together this Summer, and I’m just now moving this weekend, not much has changed in their day to day lives. Cash notices that I am working now, and if I spend the night out he’ll ask the next day “Mommy where did you go?”, but there’s not much of a change for them yet. We’ve kept things as normal as possible for the boys and now I think both James and I are better parents because we maximize our “days” with the kids by making memories with them instead of just watching movies after dinner.

Q: Do you feel guilty? 

A: Not one bit. I experienced some self-induced “mom shame” at one point because I have been going out and really living my best life, which is something I wasn’t doing before, but then I reminded myself that there is absolutely no reason to feel guilty for being happy. What kind of mother would I be if I didn’t actively show my children that there IS more to life than getting married and having babies? I’m a lead by example kind of person, and I fully believe that it’s crucial for my children to see me happy. I don’t have guilt about walking away from my marriage either because this separation wasn’t a one-sided thing. I’m not the only one who saw this coming, I’m not the only one who wanted out. Our split was mutual and so there’s absolutely no guilt in that sense either.

Q: Did you try couples counseling?

A: No. Why pay someone hundreds of dollars to tell us what we already knew? Honestly we had both hit a point where we knew we COULD try harder, but neither of us wanted to make those kinds of efforts to save a sinking ship.

In these past few months I have spent SO much time with my friends and family. If you’re going through anything similar my biggest piece of advice would be to utilize your community. I’m such a lucky girl because my friends are legitimately the best. They’ve held me when I needed to cry, they’ve got me good and liquored up when I didn’t want to think about it, and now this weekend they’ve agreed to camp in my new empty apartment with me. We all need friends, allow them to help you heal and you’ll be blessed.

I recently started writing more, a book about all the lovers I’ve known and how those relationships had an impact on who I am as a person today. I’ve also started learning Portuguese, writing poetry, and spending a lot of time in nature. I spent a lot of my life trying to attain the things that society made me feel I needed as a woman. A house, a car, a husband, children etc… I never stopped to look in the mirror and see who I was, or what I really wanted. I’m so grateful to have experienced all the wonder that marriage and motherhood has given me. I’m also grateful that I now get to move forward as a mature woman, with new goals, new challenges to conquer, and the ability to discover who I truly am.