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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!

Starting Line

When I took the leap to follow my dreams, I knew it would take a lot of hard work. Being a dream slayer is a relentless pursuit of getting the bag your way, every day. I’m knocking on every door that I am passionate about, and praising God for the ones that He opens, as well as the doors he creates. It’s a faith fueled grind and I am here for every minute of it.

Perhaps the thing that is hardest, is my budget. While I was saving up for this time before, now I am living solely off of my pursuit and savings. By no means am I broke but there is still a change in the way that I spend my money. I was a baby about it at first, but I am adjusting in the best way I know how. I am well aware that I have more than most and every single day God shows me that money doesn’t make you rich. It’s a lesson that humbles me constantly. My eyes are being opened in ways that I didn’t know I desperately needed.

With that said, mixing and matching are my jam right now. The days of acquiring pieces that aren’t thoughtful are over. If I can’t wear them in every season, in multiple ways, it more than likely won’t end up in my cart. Also, I am moving into a time of living in a more minimalistic manner. I have too much stuff and it’s time to simplify everything (something exciting is on the way there so stay tuned).

Take these pants for example. I have been wearing them all summer with some sandals and a bodysuit but now that it’s fall, they will get a remix. Not only because I love them, but also because they are a pant that you can literally wear everything with.

All of these pieces are from Long Tall Sally. The construction is stellar. Wanna try their pieces on? Check to see if there is a pop-up shop near you. I’m telling you, it’s worth your time. When was the last time you walked in and were able to try everything on? It also helps to know your LTS sizing for future online orders. THE BEST part is meeting your fellow tall queens. It’s magical.

Throw on a  cardigan  and  sneaks  and walk right into fall.

Throw on a cardigan and sneaks and walk right into fall.

From a cardigan, to a blazer, to a sweatshirt, these leggings are on trend and go with everything. I have been channeling sporty spice like a mug. I’m also incredibly comfortable which has been very important to me these days. I’m working hard and not trying to be irritated by my clothing or shoes. Actually never but you know what I mean.

Now, I am going to post a thousand more pictures in this outfit because it’s a lot of work to take them (check out my IGTV episode on blog shoots on IG) AND Nikki shot some killer shots. She not only shot the photos, she also slayed the makeup. Please follow her page @TheEyeThatGetsThePicture. Enjoy the blizzard of photos and like the great blogger that I am, I will sum them all up at the end.

Side Stripe Ponte Leggings (shown in size s) / LTS Peyton Lace Detail Sneaker  (shown in s size 13. I always personally size up for LTS Sneakers)/Bodysuit and necklace - Forever 21 (some of the bodysuits actually fit me. Emphasis on some.)/ Block Sandals above  - Target (shown in size 12).

Side Stripe Ponte Leggings (shown in size s)/LTS Peyton Lace Detail Sneaker (shown in s size 13. I always personally size up for LTS Sneakers)/Bodysuit and necklace - Forever 21 (some of the bodysuits actually fit me. Emphasis on some.)/Block Sandals above - Target (shown in size 12).

While I definitely still have my moments of uncertainty, I rest in knowing that I am rockin whatever I wear on the right path with God leading me all of the way. I am working harder, smarter and in a fiscally responsible manner. The lessons that I am learning far outweigh the change in my payroll. God wants it ALL for me and I will faith it forward, achieving His purposes for my life along the way.

It’s the start of fall, but every day is a start of something great that God has planned for you. Whether a new path, new project, or new frame of mind, it’s never too late to start. Are you ready? Get set. Go!

My First Style Segment

I updated the last post with this video but just in case you didn't see it...this is my first style segment on Good Day Sacramento!

It was such an amazing day! My beautiful friends slayed the segment and we had a blast. It is truly a blessing to be surrounded and loved by all of the dynamic, successful women in my life.

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We also got to meet the ridiculously gorgeous (inside and out) Goapele. We all definitely had official fan girl moments.

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I am just so thankful to Carly, Monica, Monique and Lameka for doing this. It meant and means so much to me! I mean...just look at their beautiful, tall selves. I couldn't have done it without them! 

To check out their looks...click the pics!

Carly . 6'2". Click photo for details. 

Carly. 6'2". Click photo for details. 

Monique . 6'5". Click photo for Details.

Monique. 6'5". Click photo for Details.

Monica . 6'1". Click photo for Details.

Monica. 6'1". Click photo for Details.

Lameka . 6'2". Click photo for Details. 

Lameka. 6'2". Click photo for Details. 

My dear friend Nikki (you may have seen her on MGL) went above and beyond for this segment. Her support means the world to me! She did all of the makeup for the segment and took amazing photos and videos after. I am so thankful for her talents but more importantly, beyond grateful for her friendship. 

Nikki Notarte Artistry

Nikki Notarte Artistry

The entire day felt like one of those moments where you literally feel God doing His work. I was working right within my purpose all day, He showed me the love that He has created all around me and He certainly started my 37th year on this earth with a bang so I can't wait to see what He does next!

I am forever grateful to Good Day Sacramento for having us on the show. It was an amazing start to what I know will continue to flourish. My friend Courtney Dempsey is the real MVP for setting the whole segment up. I look up to you in so many ways. Thank you from the bottom of my tall heart:-)    

Please let me know what you think about the piece (comment below or email info@TallSWAG.com). Personally, I am cutting it up and studying it like game film. We must always do, learn and improve.

Also, if you have any ideas/connections for more pieces, please let me know. I mean...a closed mouth doesn't get fed lol. I am here for all of the constructive criticism, suggestions and connections:-)

Thanks for reading about this awesome day...I can't wait to share many more with you!

Let God

Style posts have taken over my life for some years now. People don't understand how much work they really are. Imagine every outfit you have worn in a 2 week span, constructed, gathered and shot in a single shoot. It's taxing. While this style schedule has been draining, this post is the first time in a long time that I actually had fun doing one.

In the past I put so much pressure on myself to look perfect, have the perfect on trend clothes and obsessed about angles. I was unknowingly creating an image that I could never live up to. I was doing you a disservice and I apologize for that. 

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I would toil over every detail and it was taxing.

No more.

Whenever I shoot these from now on, I will just let them unfold organically. Those veins on my hand will be poppin. If a hair is out of place, that is where it will sit. If my nails don't match, oh well. If I don't feel like rockin a trend, I won't. I will no longer push outside ideals of what I think I should be. That drug no longer has a place here.

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For the past 6 months especially I have been stretched to the hilt. I have found out so many things about myself. I love the beautiful things and am repairing the ugly ones. My confidence is a constant werk in progress. It ebbs and flows. I don't want to preach that it is always positive. While our confidence is always there, no doubt there are days when it's exausted.

There will be many more days where I will need to build my strength. This doesn't make me weak, it makes me human.

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And really I need to stop caring about what you think. I found myself caring more about your thoughts of my content than the purpose behind the pictures and words. 

I absolutely enjoy sharing our stories and beautiful comments about life. It is one of my favorite things about being a blogger but I need to shed the act of caring what you and other people think. The only opinion that should matter is God's. He built me, He gave me my purpose and has made me exactly who I am. He and He alone is who I should be concerned with. I love you and will listen to anything you have to say but at the end of the day, He is the only opinion that matters. To fully live my life, I must walk tall in this fact every single day.

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Sweatshirt - STUZO Clothing / Tall Mom Jeans - ASOS /Glasses - Opaque Eyewear/Kicks - Nike via Nordstrom Rack  Photo credit:  Ashdav Photo

Sweatshirt - STUZO Clothing/Tall Mom Jeans - ASOS/Glasses - Opaque Eyewear/Kicks - Nike via Nordstrom Rack

Photo credit: Ashdav Photo

This is a revelation that came out of a 14 day period of non-stop anxiety about the show. When I dropped the trailer, anxiety enveloped every being of my body. I didn't like the reactions of some people, I didn't like the way I looked with my natural hair (silly yet real thought), questioned the telling of my story and a hundred other completely fabricated things. I built a false mountain out of a non-existent molehill.

I relied on my own view of the situation instead of relying on God's principles and promises for my life. He has given me this opportunity, told me to do it and will do great things with it despite what my view of it may be. Our steps of faith are hard and often confusing but lead to God's plan that is always better than anything we could ever piece together. 

I say all of that to say this...stop trying to control your life and let God take the lead. Work on giving Him the reigns for good. Your life is strategically unfolding in the way that He wants it to. Get out of your own way and certainly get out of His. Listen to Him and unapologetically walk with Him. Be yourself, learn, grow, let go and let God be who He is. 

Cuffing Season

Just in case you didn't know...it's cuffing season (insert your favorite love emoji here). And currently I am cuffed all the way up with something warm, soft and just my type. Introducing my boo...

The CURATD x LTS Heavy Turtle Neck Knit (swoon)

I be cuddled up in this thang all day long. It's seriously an amazing sweater from an amazing collection. Listen...tell me the last sweater you had with pockets!?! My mind is completely blown. You KNOW how I feel about pockets. It was clearly meant to be.

I paired it with the CURATD X LTS 7/8 Raw Frayed Jeans that go with everything and have just the right amount of stretch. They hit right at the ankle and although you can't see it in these photos, the frayed hem is sublime.

Last but certainly not least are the LTS Lexie Over The Knee Boots that are...wait for it...actually over the knee!!! Go ahead. You can squeal. I do every time I put them on.

I love this look but trust me...stay tuned...because part 2 of the CURATD collection is coming soon and I can't wait to show it to you!

Until then mon cheri...

Zip and Laced

Long Line Pocket Knit Beige - Tall Girls UK / Leather Look Leggings - Tall Girls UK  (36" inseam)/Boots (size 12) - Sam Edelman (sorry...2 seasons ago)/Tunic - Forever 21 Plus/Choker - Alloy Apparel/Necklace - Charlotte Russe  Photo Credit:  Lakeela Smith

Long Line Pocket Knit Beige - Tall Girls UK/Leather Look Leggings - Tall Girls UK (36" inseam)/Boots (size 12) - Sam Edelman (sorry...2 seasons ago)/Tunic - Forever 21 Plus/Choker - Alloy Apparel/Necklace - Charlotte Russe

Photo Credit: Lakeela Smith

When you find a cardigan that is long in the body AND in the arms, you stop whatever you are doing and order it right away! This is certainly the case with the Long Line Pocket Knit Beige Cardi from Tall Girls UK. It's part of their new fall collection that is completely loved by me and I know that you will love it too.

Yes, I wore these leggings in the last post and guess what? There is nothing wrong with that. Recycling clothes is perfectly fine and at the end of the day who cares!?! Rock a basic piece like the leather look legging with multiple fits. That is what basic pieces are for.

Now...please don't kill me...but the boots are from 2 seasons ago and are no longer available (sad face). But here are some fun lace-up boot options that I found in various price points:

LTS Harriet Lace Up Knee High (up to size 15)

LTS Lola Combat Boot (comes in 2 colors, up to size 15)

Bella Vita Kirby Bootie (up to size 12)

Women's March Lace-Up Boot (up to size 13)

Yet another fit you will see me in all season! I've been on the go so much lately and crave comfy, chic styles. What you you looking forward to wearing this season?

Have a fabulous Monday and a crazy-good week lovely!