Calm in the Midst of the Storm

Necklace-Charlotte Russe
Sandals-Nine West
I haven't been feeling calm lately. I've been feeling more anxious and stressed than anything. So I took some time to relax at the park. Enjoying nature always helps me to feel calm and at peace, if only for a moment. My hope for you this week is that you experience peace and calm in the midst of any storms that you may be experiencing in your life. If there is anything that is inhibiting  your peace, address it the best way you know how. Remember that hard times are temporary and the sun always shines after the storm. Have a blessed week!

What China Taught Me about Being Still and Counting My Blessings

Last December, my father invited me to accompany him to China. I  wasn't sure if I wanted to go until the week before I flew out. You see, for him China was an opportunity to attend a conference. For me, it was a chance to explore a country and continent I had never ventured to. I wanted to wander and see all the sights  I read and heard about over the years. When we arrived at out hotel in Shanghai on our first day, I was excited to be a "Shanghai girl" for a week and go sightseeing. However, I eventually realized that my trip was not going to go as planned. We weren't able to do any exploring on our first day in the country. Our second day was spent traveling almost five hours to the Chinese countryside cooped up in a car with 3 other people (2 of which were rather unpleasant). I was miserable to say the least. 

Around 10pm, we finally arrived at the resort where we would spend the next few days and it was absolutely beautiful. The Chinese countryside is honestly one of the most beautiful and peaceful places I have ever visited. It does not suffer from the magnitude of the pollution associated with China's big cities which allows for clean air and star visibility at night.The beauty of the place helped to lift my spirits. We were also treated to a very tasty and bountiful dinner. However, there was one big problem: the place was freezing. The resort was in the mountains and was clearly meant for summer retreating with its large open spaces. We ate dinner bundled up in our coats and scarves. However, things got really bad when I got to my room. Like the rest of the resort, the room was beautiful but extremely cold! The heat was broken and I had to to sleep in all my clothes, two pairs of socks, and two coats just to barely get warm. To make a long story short, I basically spent the next few days freezing and I did not enjoy my father's conference. To make matters worse, I  didn't get to explore much of the area or take very many pictures.  As the days progressed I became infuriated. I was stuck in a place where I wasn't happy with people I could barely communicate with (most of the Chinese could not speak English and I don't know Mandarin). I had no internet or phone service so I wasn't able to talk to friends and family back home or browse the web! I was so busy counting all my misfortunes, that I almost forget to count my blessings and thank God for the opportunity to experience a part of China:

1. The people at the conference were so kind and loving. They did their best to make sure my father and I were always comfortable and treated us with the utmost hospitality.  

2. I enjoyed plenty of traditional Chinese food which was both healthy and tasty. 

3. I made connections with people. While it was hard to communicate with most of the Chinese at the conference because of our language barriers, we were able to hug, sing, smile and communicate by deciphering what the other person was trying to say. 

4. I saw the beauty of the Chinese countryside; the people, the farms, the plants, the culture-I saw it all and I am so grateful for that. 

5. I spent my last day in China in Shanghai where I was able to buy some beautiful souvenirs for friends and family on Nanjing Road. If you've been following me for a while, you already know that I love to shop! Nanjing Road is the main shopping street of Shanghai (comparable to Time Square).

China taught me that sometimes you have to be still and accept the situations life places you in. While China was far from the ideal vacation, it was necessary. Looking back, China reminded me about the importance of gratitude. I was well fed, in good health, in warm company, and was able to experience another part of the world. Next time you find yourself in an undesirable situation, I challenge you to count your blessings before you open your mouth to complain. If you do that, I guarantee that you'll probably feel bad about wanting to complain in the first place. Then, you'll be open to learning whatever God and life wants to teach you while you're in that situation.   

When You can't Decide What Color to Wear

Belt-my closet (super old)
Shoes-Nine West

Have you ever had trouble choosing a color to wear so you decide to wear 'em all? Well, this was me last week. I was going to  Brooklyn and wanted to wear a dress with some pizzazz. Suddenly I remembered this dress was waiting to make an appearance for almost a year! That's right, I'm one of those shoppers who will buy something and not touch it until the right time, which could be a long time. I love colorful clothing but I wouldn't typically go for a piece that combines so many bright colors at once. However, I was drawn to this dress at first sight (the ruffled shoulder in particular) so adding it to my wardrobe was an easy choice. After all, it's good to step out of your style comfort zone at times. I could have dressed it up with some strappy stilettos but I chose to wear flats because I wore it to a cookout  that didn't have much sitting room and sometimes comfort comes first!

We are 90's OK.

Flannel Shirt-Forever 21
Jeans-Forever 21
Sandals-Nine West

Hey all! I hope you had a good week. The past few weeks have been quite hectic for me between work and travelling. I have literally been flying almost every week and learning to adapt to new surroundings and situations. All in all I am learning and growing as a person and young professional and I'm grateful for that. As much as I love to travel, I can honestly say that I'm happy to not have to board a plane for a while. It felt so good to spend a full weekend in New Jersey. I enjoyed lots of home cooked food and went to a couple cookouts. My schedule has definitely taken a toll on my social life so I spent time with my best friends for the holiday weekend to make up for lost time. It's hard for all four of us to get together at once because we all have different schedules, so it's a celebration every time we link up! I wanted to be comfortable and casual so I kept my outfit relaxed. I was on Zara's website a few weeks ago checking out their sale (its pretty awesome by the way) when I spotted this T-shirt for a cool $7.99. Of course, I immediately placed it into my shopping cart because 1. I was born in the 90s (the best decade ever) and 2. the price was too good to pass up. If you haven't checked out Zara's sale yet, I encourage you to do so because the bargains will blow your mind! I also snagged a beautiful pair of multi-colored sandals from the sale that I'll share with you later.