blog

Temple Talk

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We will be working on these glutes because I used to have them so I know they are in there somewhere.

We will be working on these glutes because I used to have them so I know they are in there somewhere.

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Exercise is not something that I can say that I enjoy from my soul. It does amazing things for my body, soul and depression but actually doing it is not my version of fun. So I table it often. I can go for months without doing it but in reality it’s something that I must make myself do. My body is literally my temple and I have not been stewarding it well. My family health history is no bueno and I am not helping the cause.

So it’s time. Time to get this healthy living started. Sigh. I really have to mourn my bad healthy eating habits and lazy couch days for a moment because they are so incredibly comfortable, warm and friendly. I go back and forth on uncoupling with them forever or simply hollering at them every now and then. I just don’t know if I can move forward without knowing that I have access to them.

But what I do know, at the current moment, is that I have to be active at least 3 times a week. That means discipline, time and money because training myself is not my forte. I know my strengths and I need someone to coach me or it will more than likely not happen. Side note: if you want to work together with me in some way to strengthen my health and showcase your strengths, let’s make it happen!

So I started this week and got two days in. Those 2 days made me feel phenomenal. I know that I am on the right track and need to continue to push myself because health truly is wealth. I need to do this for my mental, physical and future. It’s not an option, it’s a must.

Of course, I ran into the problem of workout clothes. We are constantly in capri mode. And while that works, it shouldn’t have to be that way. So when I tried on these workout clothes from Long Tall Sally, I lightweight cried. Full disclosure, this doesn’t take much. I am known to shed tears over emotionally charged commercials but having workout clothes that fit definitely is a moment.

These workout pants are everything. I mean everything. They have just the right amount of stretch, are long and I LOVE a high waisted pant so these are my entire jam. The overlay tank is great as well but these pants are legit. In my opinion, they are worth the money because of the fit and construction. Think about how many $30 pants you have bought over the years. Think about how many of these pants that you could have bought with that money. Pants that fit and last? Yessir. Sign me all the way up.

That leads me to another thing I am working on. Quality over quantity. I am selling, giving and pairing down a lot of my things. Things that no longer serve you weigh you down. You have to release them to realize the full power of your path. So you will see me wearing these often because you don’t need a full closet of workout clothes to work out. What you need is a washing machine and I am blessed to have one. Side note: washing machines are a luxury item. Most of the world don’t have them. Be thankful.

I look forward to working on these things with you. I really appreciate you being here. I know it’s hard but I am thankful that we can stand tall through it all together.

XO, Alicia

Audience of One

Photo -  Nikki Notarte   Entire outfit -  Long Tall Sally

Photo - Nikki Notarte

Entire outfit - Long Tall Sally

To say that this time of my life has been formative is an understatement. It’s been almost 7 months of discovering things about myself that I never would have if I didn’t follow the step of obedience of resigning from the job that I had for 13 years.

It’s been beautiful. It’s been terrifying. It’s been a ball of every emotion that you could ever have. There are so many unknowns in my path but the one thing that I do know is; I am on the right one.

I have been grinding behind the scenes on some pretty amazing things. As an entrepreneur you always have multiple irons in the fire. Some of them come to fruition, some aren’t meant to be and most you have to relentlessly pursue and simply make them happen. As they say, often the ones that succeed aren’t the first to do it, they are just the people that never gave up. 

And I am one of those people. I won’t give up on the things that God told me to do but that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel every emotion while I am doing it. I have felt the warmth of joy and the sting of tears running down my cheeks on a regular basis. I don’t care how much faith you have, nobody is immune to feeling feelings.

With that breakdown in tow, fear is the main culprit right now. Not a fear of God not coming through but more a sheer fear of what people are thinking of my path.

Is she crazy? What is she even doing? Is she just sitting at home? She made a mistake. She isn’t a success.

All of these statements flow through my mind and at times have literally kept me captive. Not since I found my confidence have I cared what people thought, until now. 

So I sat with those feels for awhile. I interviewed them, broke bread with them and stared intently into their eyes so that I could figure out a way to handle them. You see. Feelings will always be there. You must pinpoint a way to get them on the side of right.

Every analysis boiled down to this fact: God is the only audience we should care about.

If God tells you to do it, no matter what it may look like to the world, do it for His applause and his applause only. No worldly opinion should matter. Do not let yourself, social media, haters or even friends and family supersede the ovation of God. No matter the size of the stage you find yourself on, let His claps guide the way to His purpose for your life.

So moving forward, let’s mute the approval of the world and look to God for everything that we need. Stand tall in the certainty that there is only one stamp of approval you need and that is from Him.

Moving forward I will be adding an audio version of my blogs for the visually impaired (or any else that wants to listen instead of read:). Thank you for the suggestion Patricia! I am sorry I didn’t think of it before!

You Never Know

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of beautiful young women at Westlake Middle School in Oakland, CA. It was an amazing afternoon of positivity that Principal Maya Taylor spearheaded. I was honored to share my story and life lessons at the first Women’s Empowerment Day at Westlake. Check this Oakland Post article out for more details on the beautiful event.

It was a complete blessing to speak to this room of young women that will change our world in so many different ways.

It was a complete blessing to speak to this room of young women that will change our world in so many different ways.

While I pray that I impacted everyone who needed it, by far, the person who was impacted most on this day was me.

While leaving my job of 13 years has been imperative and amazing, I have struggled with direction. There are so many things that I feel God wants me to do, it has been hard to trust myself to select where He wants me to go next. However while speaking at Westlake, He affirmed something in me that cannot be denied…no matter what I must continue to speak about confidence, bullying and standing tall in every way.

I literally went through (and go through) everything in my life to help build others up. It is my life’s purpose. I can see Him working through me in amazing ways. I do not know how I am going to get there but what I do know for certain is that He will make it happen in His timing. The work He has for me is great and I will trust Him through all of it. I will emphatically move my feet and let Him beautifully connect the work together for His purpose for my life.

Currently, I am in the process of revamping TallSWAG to not only be a space to stand tall in style but in all things. I aspire to inspire in all areas of life through the lens of my own. I want to do this through speaking, writing, lifestyle, events, design, travel and every other constructive way I can.

If you feel compelled to connect in any of these spaces, please do. If you have a lead, open position or idea for me that aligns with my purpose, I dang sure want to hear it. God doesn’t waste anything and maybe you are reading this right now to link me to the next step in His plan for me. You never know and I sure don’t see any harm in putting it on the table.

I want to be the light that He needs me to be and will work tirelessly to make it happen. I’m not above giving God a conduit to connect. He uses all of us and I will continue to walk down the avenues He presents to me.

info@TallSWAG.com

Speak Up

When I saw this jumpsuit, I literally shed a tall tear. Yes. I am emotional by nature. Sappy commercials can trigger watery eyes but this jumpsuit called out to me. It was like hey Alicia girl! Not only is it animal print (which you know I live for), it’s also LONG ENOUGH in every way. You wanna hear the most amazing part? It was only $29. That’s not a typo my friend.

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Now. Don’t hate me…but this beauty was so popular that it flew off the shelf before I could shoot it BUT it’s just one of the many pieces that are the new COLLUSION line from ASOS. The site describes the line as:

A new brand for the coming-of-age generation that refuses to compromise on principle or style, COLLUSION believes clothes that celebrate self-expression and inclusivity should be the norm. It's no surprise then that it's linked up with six inspirational creatives to shape its first collection, which includes denim, knitwear, dresses and loads more.

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Now apparently this was made for something called the Gen Z that apparently I am aged out of but I don’t give a dang. I really like a lot of the pieces and will rock them as my older self pleases. The design and the price are winners for this lady.

I also love that they had a collective of six young designers, models, artists, and influencers that created the line. That is dope. Creative collaboration is my jam. Let’s just pray that ASOS calls me to help create their next Tall line. *speaks it into existence*

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Now, let’s talk about these beautiful sock boots. They are from none other than Payless. Payless has been a staple in my closet since I was young. As a whipper snapper, not only were they the only shoes my Mom could afford, they were also the only ones that could fit. They have been holding it down for size 10-13 for years and continue to step their game up design wise. These joints are a testament to that.

While we are speaking things into existence, Holla at me Payless! We have a capsule collection to make, as well as a sick commercial that I have already scripted. Let’s do this!

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See…they really are long enough. I knew you were wondering.

See…they really are long enough. I knew you were wondering.

Photos and MUA by  Nikki Notarte   Tall COLLUSION Jumpsuit - ASOS ( sold out. Check out the new line here )/ Brash Women’s Xaya Pointed-Toe Sock Boots - Payless  (shown in size 12)/Belt - Thrifted/Hoops - Forever 21

Photos and MUA by Nikki Notarte

Tall COLLUSION Jumpsuit - ASOS (sold out. Check out the new line here)/Brash Women’s Xaya Pointed-Toe Sock Boots - Payless (shown in size 12)/Belt - Thrifted/Hoops - Forever 21

I will be rocking this jumpsuit a lot. That $29 will be put to good use! Don’t be surprised if you see me running down the street wearing the suit, some sneakers and a faux leather jacket. Yep. That’s gonna be me.

PS. If you even had a thought, even for a moment, that you shouldn’t wear this much print…THROW THAT THOUGHT OUT THE WINDOW AND RUN OVER IT. You can wear whatever you please. Give them somethin to look at hunni!

Discover Her Journey

If you don't know, the Taylor Jay Collection is an amazing line with pieces that not only look great together but can be paired with other pieces to create looks that empower anyone's style. They are comfortable, chic and perfect for a woman on the go. 

Behind the line is Taylor. She is a mom, relentless entrepreneur and someone that I am honored to call my friend. She is passionate about what she does and created the #DiscoverHerJourney campaign to expand her scope of sizes to cater to plus as well as special collections that cater to all women in special ways.

I have always been amazed that her pieces are long enough for me. I have been rocking her collections for years and always look forward to her new, thoughtful styles. She really makes things that not only make sense but also make you feel stylish and carefree when you wear them.

Support a brand that supports you. #DiscoverHerJourney.

Support a brand that supports you. #DiscoverHerJourney.

As a Tall, African American woman who is very underserved in the media and fashion industries, I am so thankful for designers like Taylor who cater to all women and are making strides to include everyone.

It is incredibly important that we support each other and brands that believe in US, so please support #DiscoverHerJourney in any way that you can. From sharing the campaign, to donation, there is no such thing as a small contribution. Every supportive move is a move towards an industry that represents all of us!

Thanks in advance. We all thank you! #DiscoverHerJourney

The Leap

My friend Shay took this photo in Ibiza on a 3 week trip through Europe that I took with a group of friends a week after my leap. It was such an incredible trip. Freeing. Affirmative. Enveloped in God's love. I am so thankful for the time He has given me to recharge and repair. I know that both are necessary in preparation for the path He is about to lead me down.  

My friend Shay took this photo in Ibiza on a 3 week trip through Europe that I took with a group of friends a week after my leap. It was such an incredible trip. Freeing. Affirmative. Enveloped in God's love. I am so thankful for the time He has given me to recharge and repair. I know that both are necessary in preparation for the path He is about to lead me down.  

Well...I made the leap.

As many of you saw on Instagram, I stepped away from the comfort of a position that I had for 13 years, to let God paint the picture. I literally stopped letting the fear of what could go wrong stop me from living to my fullest potential and pursuing the things that God has placed in my heart. 

I wouldn't be telling the whole story if I didn't share the moments of terror that I have. What did you do Alicia? What will you be Alicia? What does God have planned for you Alicia? But then Faith comes through like a wave to wash them out because I know that it was a God-led decision that was 6 years in the making.

No. This decision was not made in a split second. I have felt restless for years, knowing that I was made for more and deserve respect for the hard work that I bring to the table but I didn't want it be my decision, I wanted it to be God's.

So I prayed, continued to work hard, navigated through it in the most gracious way I could and waited on God. Along the way I was prompted to do things that I didn't understand (that I now know prepared me to walk away from my comfortable captivity), until the day came that it was time to trust Him more than I trust myself.

Now, 3 months into it, I am emphatically moving my feet and knocking on all of the doors that spark passion. I am revamping some things (both internally and externally) and going after my purpose. However the thing I am doing differently, is giving God the control and the room to do His work. It's a hard thing to relinquish, but I must get out of His way to find my way. The picture undoubtedly will look far different than what I think but will give me the peace of knowing that I am walking His path of purpose for my life. I am here for it Lord!

I can't wait to share this path with you. Knowing you are there to grow and learn with me, means the world to me! What better way to start this journey than to talk about some of the things he did to prepare me for the leap.

Alicia, you just leap right!?! Yes, that has been what some were called to do but God knew that I needed to ease into this thang. I think we forget the He created us. He knows us better than we know ourselves and so when He wants us to make a decision like this, he gives us some type of nudge that makes sense to us. Something that gives us the courage to take it.

One thing my Pastor always says is do the last thing that God told you to do. With that said, I wanted to share 5 steps of obedience that helped me see God's timing for my leap:

1) Steward my money. 6 years ago, the Holy Spirit was like girl you need to get your finances right (me and the Holy Spirit go way back so He can talk to me like that). So I did. I tithed (wasn't perfect every month but I grew in leaps in bounds), saved and God gave me the resources to pay off all of my debt. This gave me a cushion. It doesn't mean I don't have to hustle, but instead of jumping off the cliff without a parachute, I have a thin one that made the leap far less scary. God knew this child had to have a little rope to hang on to.

2) Car Shopping. I got into a fender bender with my old faithful 4Runner that I picked out with my Dad. When I took it to the shop to get it fixed, even though it looked perfectly fine, they said there was internal damage that you couldn't see and they totaled it. I cried because it was sentimental, made me feel close to my Dad and I just knew I would have a car payment that would set me back financially. God sent a car that had great mileage and I could pay for it in cash from the payout of my totaled car. I didn't want it. I fought it for a hot minute until I heard chill, this is the one. I begrudgingly did what I was told to do and now this car completely makes sense and is a total blessing. The gas mileage is on point, it runs really well and is exactly what I need right now. No matter what, listen. It's all part of the plan.

3) Find Community. I have been a Christian for as long as I can remember but there was always something missing. Sitting in church alone was something I had become accustomed to but after a taping of my show, I met The Movement Church and it has changed my life. Among other things, it has shown me the importance of having a strong group of believers around you to lift you up, talk it out, hold you accountable and bring you back to God's word when you want to run from it. By no means did they tell me to do this. This leap was prompted by God but my community is certainly helping me navigate through it. My wise council game is strong.

4)  Amplified Prayer. Years ago, my prayer life was weak at best. I really believe it's a lifelong practice that you must constantly work on. So I stepped it up and continue to do my best to enhance and increase my prayer life. Praying about this decision was a daily essential. I wanted to make sure the move was from Him so I stayed prayed up. I didn't get the answer for many years, so don't think that your answer will come overnight, nor that it will be the answer that you want. Prayer changes things, fosters power and gives direction. In everything that you do, integrate prayer as a main ingredient.

5) Trust the Process.  That word trust comes up all of the time. Either the word itself, or an amazing example like this one I shared on Instagram, God constantly brings me back to trusting Him. It's not always easy, but it is a constant step of obedience that I have to foster daily. He knows I need those reassurances and He continues to unfold them through the most confusing and beautiful moments of this whole life thing.

These most certainly are not the only things that He did to launch my leap. You see, God already knew when I would do this before I was even born. Our stories are meticulously planned by Him. He knows all of the failures, wrong turns, mistakes and successes. His plan is in constant motion. We must show up, do the last thing he told us to do and rest in the peace that it's already happening. It's going to be a wild, emotion filled ride but I am thankful that He is the one behind the steering wheel.

 The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8