Spring Fantasy Cottagecore

Of all the trends that came out of quarantine life, there is one that I grew to appreciate : Cottagecore. While this is more of an aesthetic than an actual trend, it really took off over the last year and the appeal is totally understandable given how we’ve spent the last year.

The premise conjures up nostalgic images of tranquil moments of whimsical escape,  complete with frolicking in flower fields, and picnics with tea served on vintage porcelain. As one would expect, even within this aesthetic niches like cottagegoth, and witchcore (to name a few) have sprung up as well. Bringing a more dark and edgy vibe, these lean more towards historical,  romantic and sometimes fantastical elements via color palettes as well as folksy mysticism.  That being said, there are those who have argued that cottagecore is basically a glamorous extension to boho and I totally can see that given the similar color palettes and even prints. Bandanas and bandana prints,  for example, have made a comeback in fashion due to the rise of this trend, some even in very stylish ways as is the case with this dress.I first stumbled across this bandana dress while scrolling through Instagram, I was in awe. It’s a simple idea that is so brilliantly executed that I can’t help but wonder why we haven’t seen these before. Or maybe they’ve been around and I just haven’t noticed. Who knows, the point is that after I spotted it, learned more about the brand and the designer I knew that I must have my own in my two favorite colors.

Being a little extra with a  faux suede fringe handbag, sunglasses and platform creepers.

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5 Ways to Add Self Care to Your Daily Life

With everything that has happened over the last year it has been difficult to not sink deep into my usual stress response of survival, and coping mechanisms.  I am so guilty of not taking care of myself when things were “normal” and this has only gotten worst between dealing with the possibly of being laid off (again), financial insecurity and the logistics of having to move during a pandemic to name a few. I know that I’m not alone with this, nevertheless I’ve been actively trying to find some sense of peace in chaos.

And yes, things may seem a bit quiet and boring being under quarantine for so long, yet that too can be a form of chaos for some of us. (Yes, even for introverts.) Today I’m sharing five ways I’ve been incorporating more self care into my routine. While some of these may seem obvious, some are still hard even for me, but I’m trying and I hope you’ll join me.

1.) Get cozy and cute (but only if YOU want to)

I’ve taken to treating myself to some new sleep and lounger wear to bring in some changes to my overall dull WFH wardrobe. Most recently I got this black sleep shirt from the Modcloth-exclusive collaboration with Hello Kitty. It has a classic pajama silhouette with lapel collar, cuffed long sleeves and curved shirttail hem, red heart-shaped buttons down the entire front, piping throughout and an embroidered patch of this Sanrio icon on the chest pocket.  It is adorable and soft though also chic enough that I deemed it worthy of including a few accessories and makeup despite the fact that I’m just staying home because, why not?

I’ll admit that like most people that have been working from home,  I really haven’t been dressing up much, though I try to make an effort at least on those days I have a scheduled  Zoom call.  Somedays I’ll do this and other times I simply don’t care enough to try. Both are fine. The important thing is to do what is comfortable for you.

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A Caged Heart (feat. Black Thorn LA)

I’ve mentioned this before but I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. No, it’s not because I’m one of those “bitter single people,” I just find Christmas to be more romantic. (Maybe Hallmark is partially to blame for this, but who knows.) Although I must admit that being a chocoholic I do look forward to all the V-day chocolate so that’s something at least.

So as you can imagine rather than celebrate this “holiday” in the traditional sense, I tend to use it as an excuse to dress up in theme-inspired outfits, as well as a moment to treat myself. This year I’m combined the two and decided to  get myself something from a brand I’ve been wanting to try since they launched back in 2018 – Black Thorn LA.

Black Thorn LA is an alternative/spooky loungewear and sleepwear brand that carries both straight and plus size options, up to size 3X. It is also very affordable, as most of their products are $50 and under, however, this isn’t even the best part. No the best part is that both the straight and plus size pieces are priced the same! I just had to point that out because this is simply unheard of especially when it comes to plus size alternative fashion.  (And just in case you’re still looking for some alternative Valentine’s day “nightwear” definitely check out their plus size lingerie collection. They have some great pieces available including body suits, robes, bralettes and more.)

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Winter Vamp Coat Style

It’s no secret that I have a thing for coats, jackets and blazers. I have quite the collection that manages to expand every other season or so, my favorites being more military and Victorian inspired in design, often times with a cinch waist.

Over the holidays one of my dearest friends, Tan gifted me this coat and I love it so much had to share it with you. Sure, winter is soon to be over, even so this is actually the best time of year to shop for a coat if you’re on a budget and in the market for a new one.

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Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19

As someone who has dealt with homeless twice before already, the very thought of unemployment has always been a major anxiety trigger for me. So I’ve become the kind of person that needs to have some sense of financial stability and control in order to hold my fears and anxiety in check. Financially, I am in a better place than how things were with my family back when I was a kid, however, like most people I know living in NYC, I still live paycheck to paycheck, which isn’t the most stress-reducing situation. Just missing one paycheck results in a financial setback that will take months to recover from.

So when I got the news in April that I was furloughed, I broke down and had one of the worst panic attacks ever. My mother, who is getting through lockdown along with me, didn’t know how to help but she tried her best to calm me down, embracing me until I stopped crying, shaking and hyperventilating. (My mother has never experienced me having a panic or anxiety attack firsthand and I know this scared her but I appreciate that this is how she chose to handle the situation in that moment because I managed to recover much faster than I would have otherwise.) I was unconsolable for days. I was angry at all those “we’re in this together” messages circulating everywhere. Yes, we’re facing the same storm that is COVID-19, BUT we’re all experiencing different journeys because we’re on different ships. Some of us aren’t even on ships at all, just doing the best with our inflatable life raft, if that.

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