From Curacao with Love: Travel Diary Part 1

Curacao is currently my favorite vacation destination right alongside Trinidad and Tobago. The beaches have some of the clearest water I've ever seen (along with Aruba's beaches). Food, transportation and lodging are affordable and there is always something to do that won't break the bank. 
When I visit islands, I'm usually not pressed to go to the beach every day but Curacao really does have some the most beautiful beaches and I visited the beach during the three full days we spent on the island amongst our other activities. 
What I love most about Curacao, aside from the beaches, is the vibrancy of the Island. The colors of the buildings and overall atmosphere are so cheerful and uplifting! Naturally I styled my looks to complement the vibrancy around me. 
What made this trip so special was that I spent it with my family. It was a Birthday trip for my mom and spending quality time with my mom, brother, husband and son, all at once, was so meaningful to us. My mom was happy to be with her kids at the same time and my brother and son bonded after not seeing each other for months. We all arrived Saturday afternoon so we decided to take it easy; we went grocery shopping, bought dinner and relaxed. We rented a townhouse from Airbnb that had two gorgeous pools as well as access to the ocean! After breakfast, my husband took photos of me and then we headed to the ostrich farm with the family!

26 Trips Around the Sun

Why I took a Six Week Break from Instagram

As far as I know, the purpose of fasting is to grow closer to God. Fasting is a way of submitting your will in exchange for God’s. I decided to fast from Instagram because I was desperate for God to provide a break through in my life and Instagram had become my idol. An idol is anything that absorbs your time and love more than God. While I love God, I realized this year that spend way more time on Instagram than with God. Maybe the reason I’ve been struggling so much this year is because I was not seeking God wholeheartedly. Sure, I would pray, read my Bible and have devotions each day but I didn’t truly want to serve God more than my desires.
My desire to waste time on social media scrolling through Instagram, minding other people’s business was not only pushing me away from God, it was hindering productivity and triggering my depression. The first thing I noticed within my first few hours of abstaining from Instagram was how much I was able to accomplish in a relatively short amount of time. 
At the end of the first week of my fast, I realized that I did not feel depressed at all.  It was literally the first week this year where the signs of depression did not surface in my life. Sure, I was still dealing with some hardships but I didn’t feel like my life was on a downward spiral. There is a quote that states,comparison is the thief of joy” and my habit of scrolling through Instagram watching other peoples’ lives through their photos and Instastories made me feel like I was not doing enough with my own life.
There are some amazing people I follow and often come across on Instagram who I admire because they are doing great things that inspire me and they appear to be successful. However, I realize that I cannot compare this season of my life to someone else’s success season and highlight reel. I don’t know all they endured to get where they are and I don’t walk in their shoes.
I want to walk on the path that God has set for me and I want to be so in tune with God that I am living my life in accord with His will for my life. God promises that when we live a life of obedience to Him, we will thrive. “The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.” (Jeremiah 29:13).
Photographer-Kofi James
Top-Asos | Jeans-Old Navy | Shoes- Nine West

So it’s been six weeks and my fast is over! There were very specific things I was fasting and praying for during this time and I must say that God truly showed up for me in so many ways. All my prayers have not been answered yet, but I know God will in His perfect timing.

Pre-Father's Day: Making Time to be Present

New Mom, New Fears

Happy new year! If you follow me on instagram you know I welcomed my son, Avery, on November 5, 2018. Avery is truly the light of my life but the first three weeks of his life felt like some of my darkest days. Motherhood was nothing like I thought it was going to be at first, it was miserable and downright difficult. My first struggle was breastfeeding. Avery had a hard time latching on and whenever he did latch on, I felt excruciating pain. I put him on the breast as much as possible in the hospital but he usually had to be supplemented with formula. Breastfeeding was frustrating for both of us; he cried often because he had a hard time latching on and was hungry. I cried because I felt like I was struggling to give him what he needed. Sometimes he did latch on and would stay on for 30-60 minutes while I cringed from the pain.

Eventually I kept Avery on the breast less and gave him more formula because I couldn't bear the pain, which made me cry even more. I pumped everyday (and still do) but my milk supply was and still is too low to feed him breastmilk only which often made me cry in the first few weeks. I felt like a bad mom because breastfeeding wasn't going well and breast were created to nourish babies. I saw a lactation consultant twice within Avery's first two weeks and thing never got much better. However, I still put him on the breast everyday and keep him on until I can't withstand the pain.

As if breastfeeding wasn't enough of a struggle my baby became super fussy by 5 days old and cried ALOT.  Every time he cried for prolonged periods of time, so did I because it was so hard to calm him. I'll never forgot that one Thursday where he cried for 3 hours straight and my mom was consoling both the baby and I as my head laid on her shoulder while she held him in her arms.

I was so scared of everything those first few weeks and developed anxiety. I was scared to be alone with my baby because it was so hard to console him, scared he would choke (because he choked for the first time at two weeks and it was the scariest moment of my life), scared he would stop breathing in his sleep so I checked his breathing several times throughout the night and missed out on a lot of sleep. My husband, Avery and I spent the first three week's of Avery's life at my mom's house and she helped us so much! When it was time for us to go back to our apartment, I cried. I didn't know how I would manage by myself all day with the baby and I cried as my mom held me in her arms assuring me I would be okay. Those first few days at our home were tough. Avery cried most of the day and there was no help until my husband came home. I called my mom almost every day crying. I felt sad often, but every time I was able to calm my son and watch him lay sweetly in my arms I felt like a winner.

My son is 3.5 months now and he is a healthy, happy and curious baby boy. I'm confident in my abilities as a mother and I'm enjoying motherhood very much. I took these photos during the last few days of my maternity leave when my biggest fear was retuning to work and leaving my baby at daycare. I was dealing with a lot of anxiety around this time, but I took these photos on a day when I felt good. I've been back to work for over a month now and it hasn't been easy, but I know I will be okay. To all the new moms dealing with fear and anxiety, take it one day at a time. Remember that you're doing to best you can!

Dress-Zara | Coat- Zara | Shoes-Target

Making Time for What Matters Most

As children we believe that time is moving slowly and we can't wait to become grown ups. As adults we realize how fleeting time is and we never seem to have enough of it no matter how hard we try to schedule everything. Our time is one of our most valuable and precious resources because it can never be regained once it is used. As I grew into adulthood, I learned to maximize and prioritize my time by doing what I have to do so I can do what I want to do. These days my time is consumed by preparing for my baby and spending time with my loved ones.
Speaking of loved ones, I wore this outfit during a family weekend in Maryland. It felt so nice to get away for a couple days and spend time with family I haven't seen in months. I must admit, making time for family gatherings outside of my immediate family has not been at the top of my list of priorities in past years. However, now that I am becoming a mother, I cherish it so much more as I want my son to be close with family. My time may become harder to manage as I enter the early stages of motherhood, but I'll always make time for the people who matter most. This watch was gifted to me by JORD and it's extra special to me because it has my son's initials engraved in it. One day I'll pass this watch on to my son so he'll always remember to make time for what matters most to him. 
If you're a watch lover and making time for what matters is important to you, you've come to the right blog because I've partnered with JORD to host a wood watch contest! You can use this link to enter the contest for a chance to win $100 to shop JORD's collection: My watch is the Zebrawood & Navy and can be found here
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25 and Full of Life!

I turned 25 (or shall I say twenty-fine as my hubby says) on August 20th. If you had asked me what my plans were for my twenty fifth birthday at the beginning of this year, I would have told you something epic. My dream was to spend my birthday abroad, exploring an island and maybe living my best life on a beach with clear water. The fact of the matter was that my birthday was lackluster this year. I spent the day between my bed and the couch resting, watching TV/movies and reading. There was no big celebration and I couldn't travel abroad even if I wanted to because of my pregnancy flight restrictions. 

Despite my unrealized birthday dreams, my birthday was monumental not only because I turned a quarter of a century, but because my son was in my womb. Yes, I'm carrying a boy! Feeling his movements (which have become more powerful and frequent) was the best birthday gift I could ask for. Getting pregnant was not on my list of goals for this year, but it has been such a blessing! My child has already taught me so much about myself! 

I've evolved this year and I'm proud of my growth. God is using this child to mold me into the person I need to be, the person I wasn't sure I was ready to be. My core values are strong. I've adopted some new ideas and learned to let other ones go. I'm closer to God and we have an unbreakable bond. 

Pregnancy has made me more confident. I'm no longer interested in sparing other peoples' feelings at the expense of my own. I'm not scared of confrontation like I used to be. If someone says something to me that I disagree with, I tell them why instead of simply smiling and pretending everything is okay. I don't tolerate foolishness from myself or others. I'm more focused. I've been accomplishing my short-term goals. 

I've accepted that I don't need to have everything in life figured out. The hardest part about finding out I was pregnant was thinking that it was messing up my plan for my life. I had to get out of my own way and realized that my pregnancy was part of a bigger plan for my life, God's plan. 

I'm less materialistic. I'm more interested in having experiences and spending quality time with people than acquiring things. 

I measure my success by my level of happiness, not the bottom line of my bank account.

My life has changed drastically in a year and I'm grateful for every moment of the journey. It took me nearly 25 years to become the woman I am today and I'm proud of her. I'm excited to continue my journey through life, not only as an individual but as a wife and mother. 

Photographer-Kofi James
Dress-Anthropologie | Sneakers- Adidas

I took a long break from blogging this year because pregnancy symptoms are real! I often felt exhausted and didn't have the energy to post as much as I would like. I'm glad to say I'm back to blogging and I hope to start posting more frequently when my body allows. I have evolved and I have new stories to share. Stay tuned for more life updates, reflections, and fashion talk. Thank you for sticking with me!