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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Sweet Like Deadly Nightshade

Fun fact: When I was growing up, my father had major aspirations of my brother and I becoming child models. Every so often he would put up a white bedsheet on one of the walls in the living room, get some props and outfits together and we’d have our own photoshoot sessions right at home. I still have the albums full of the photos including the professional ones that he had done to send to modeling agencies. Neither my brother or I ever got a modeling contract as kids (Not for lack of trying, I mean we were adorable but I guess that wasn’t enough, hahaha) but at the very least we have the memories.

At the start of quarantine last year, my brother was actually the first one to point out that I could not use the pandemic as an excuse for not continuing to take photos and create content. According to him, I’ve been “trained for in-house photoshoots” and now I even have more space to work with than we did growing up. I initially disagreed because working in one space can be pretty limiting, but in time I took up the challenge, working around issues with lightening (my apartment is intentionally dark in certain spaces) and even did some much needed furniture/decor shopping which I had put off for the last 2 years.

I’ve done quite a bit of shooting at home as a result, some of which I haven’t shared yet, but I wanted to try my hand at something “different” for this new year. So armed with my trusty tripod, selfie light, new make up, new bedding and a lux velvet set I bought as a Christmas gift to myself, I figured it was time to try something way, way outside of my comfort zone – my own boudoir shoot. Continue reading

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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