Guys, this is the grungiest look I have ever blogged about and I absolutely love it. I’m a huge fan of making things my own. I love taking dope trends and giving them my own little twist. This explains why fashion has become one of my main outlets for self-expression. I talked about this in my previous blog post but I’ve recently given it more thought and have come to realize how important fashion has also been throughout my journey towards self-discovery.
Being able to express myself and show my personality through the clothes I wear is one of my favorite things to do. The more I get into this, the deeper it takes me into a path of self-exploration. A simple look can showcase one’s emotions, current state, or even be utilized to deliver a socio-political message. I also enjoy breaking the norm and testing my limits with pieces which take me out of my comfort zone, while keeping it real and always staying true to myself.
In a world of homogeny, how do you stand out? How do you set yourself apart from the crowd and embrace your different? My dear friend, you just do it. You speak up until your voice is heard, you color outside the lines, you find what makes you unique and you own it.
If you haven’t figured it out already, I’m a fervent advocate for self-expression and differentiation. Why? Because in today’s society there’s too much of the same thing and individualism isn’t something I am willing to forgo. I chose to be different. I chose to be genuinely and unapologetically me, every waking day, and I encourage you all to do the same.
This is why I’m a huge fan of Dr. Martens, a brand which supports and believes in authenticity and self-expression as much as I do. Their appeal to people who have their own individual style, yet share a united spirit, is undeniable. Their boots and products are all about genuine characters who aren’t afraid to stand for something and I’m immensely grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with them.
25 days into 2017 and I still haven’t written my New Year’s resolutions. In my honest opinion, I’ve never been a fan of them. The concept of beginning the New Year with a list of promises and decisions like going more to the gym, saving more money, being more punctual, eating healthy, etc. seems a little vague to me. One too many times I’ve heard friends confess how they started working on their resolutions and a few months in, they completely gave up on them. And some won’t even make it to the three-month mark!
I could be wrong but I strongly believe this happens when you don’t hold yourself accountable for the changes you wish to implement in your day-to-day lifestyle. But how to accomplish this without making these life changes feel like an unnecessary burden? My friends, let me tell you about vision boards. Even if you don’t dig them, there’s a very important part of the vision board making process which I strongly suggest everyone should attempt. Let me rewind for a minute cause I’m getting way too ahead of myself! Haha!
Hey guys, I’m back from my two-week trip to Puerto Rico and feeling more refreshed than ever! Sure thing, these freezing NYC temps are not ideal but I can’t really complain. For the first time in a very long time, I was able to go back home and fully disconnect from all the noise and nonsense. YES! I fully unplugged and took a much-needed break which helped to put a lot of things in perspective.
How did I do it? Well, for starters, I brought my Canon EOS 70D DSLR camera and didn’t even use it (lolz, right?) I took a solid break from regularly posting on Instagram, from publishing blog posts, and even from checking my email! I swear, I just enjoyed the present moment, the warm weather, the company of all the wonderful people I got to reconnect and spend time with, and I just existed.
If you're anything like me, you've probably left all of your holiday shopping for the absolute last minute. Yes, I admit it, I still have quite the list of things I need to get before Christmas and what day is it today? December 23rd? I'm a lost cause.
Well, I know what I'll be doing for the rest of the day but if you're feeling a bit directionless and are still looking for a few last-minute gift ideas for your pals and loved ones, I'm throwing in a few of my holiday favorites within this post! The cool thing about these gift suggestions is they're all fantastic gifts for the boss babes, adventurous gals, and vivacious women in your life (yourself included!) So don't fret my last minute holiday shopper, once again I've got you covered!
Looking back at my published work as a blogger, my writing and overall style have changed quite noticeably. I published this Little Black Dresspost back in February 2015 and I somewhat cringe at the sight of it (no joke!) All in all, I don’t regret anything I’ve ever written but for me it is real curious to see how I’ve grown as a blogger in the past ~2 years.
Similar to one’s evolution as a writer and content creator, our styles, likes, dislikes, and opinions will change over time. We are evolutionary beings; we learn, grow, adapt, transform, develop, and continuously mold ourselves and our ways in response to our environment and present circumstances. Truth be told, blogging has been instrumental in my journey towards finding my voice and it has helped me become comfortable in my own skin.
I remember a year and a half ago trying all these girly looks and “cute” things, and even how I expressed myself, it wasn’t truly me. I finally realized, I’m not your average “girly girl”. I never was and I never will fit in that mold, so why bother trying to be something I’m not? I’m pretty raw and edgy, messy, scattered at times, I'm highly outspoken, have a strong personality and I absolutely love it! Nothing wrong with being a bit rough around the edges, am I right?
Have you ever paid for a beauty service and the end result turned out to be light years away from what you wanted and expected it to be? This had been my experience with hair color, ever since I moved to NYC until I met Brianna Noelle – my “fairy hair mother” – at Original & Mineral NYC.
Let’s rewind to fall 2014. I wanted to be a platinum blonde. I wanted someone to turn my dark, thick Puerto Rican hair into a gorgeous platinum blonde mane, Khaleesi-style. The result? I still cringe at the site of this photo.
I had done my research and due diligence, I thought I had found the perfect salon in NYC to turn my platinum blonde dreams into reality! As you can imagine, I ended up with hair trauma, taking me two full years to grow out and bring my hair back to a natural healthy state. Now, let’s fast-forward to present day miracles.
Calling all my ladies with larger shoe sizes, I hear you and I feel you! On today's post, I talk about my partnership with Lonia Shoes, a designer footwear brand which creates stylish footwear for women sizes 10 to 15. Yes, you heard it! And for those of you reading who don't necessarily fall into this category, keep Lonia Shoes in mind when making those holiday shopping lists - I'm positive they'll come in handy!
Fun Fact: According to a report from the National Shoe Retailers Association, the average American woman's shoe size ranges between size 8 1/2 and 9. In Great Britain, the average British woman wears a British size 6, which equates to a US size 8, leaving many to think the commonality of having these shoe sizes could be more of a worldwide trend. But then, what happens to us gals with 10+ shoe sizes?
Believe it or not, fall fashion is something I'm still trying to figure out - and don't get me started on winter apparel! Growing up in Puerto Rico, I never experienced seasonal changes; I spent 23 years of my life in a perpetual state of summer, where denim shorts, sandals, and a breezy tank was pretty much my uniform year round. I remember browsing through fashion magazines and looking at models and celebrities, all wrapped up in chunky knitted sweaters and extravagant coats. I always thought, "It must be freezing wherever they are!" And here I am, layering up in NYC as I dress for 45°F/7°C weather.
I'm not going to lie, the entire concept of layering fascinates me. Now, as the weather takes a deeper dive into fall, we're still experiencing brisk days in which the cold isn't as brutal. For these days I like to go a bit light on the layering. Chunky knit sweaters are my favorites and I will continue to talk about them throughout the season, but when you find yourself running around from your apartment to the subway, to work, to whatever events you may have during the day, and back, you may want to go for a breezier short to medium-sleeved sweater, as long as the weather permits.
As I briefly mentioned in an Instagram post yesterday, I have some pretty cool news for you! *Dances and prances with excitement! Well, I've been wrapping my head around this one for a minute. It's pretty crazy when you get a really dope idea and begin to scheme around the various ways in which you could make it happen. This was me for the past month or two, nailing it all down in order to share this with you!
Quick rewind to summer '16. There was an open market close to my apartment where I spotted a number of customized jackets under one of the seller's tents. Each and every single one of those jackets read, 'Bye Felicia'. Cute. But what if I could do something similar? What if I custimized a few denim jackets and hand painted words, phrases, and expressions on them, which encompassed my feelings and emotions towards certain life situations? "Oh man, I must be up to something!" - I thought.
Well, ladies and gentleman... I give you Teenage Angst Custom Wear, my very own custom apparel Etsy shop and the result of endless brainstorming, plus the need to vent and share all these feels with the world.
As a kid, I grew up having serious self-esteem issues surrounding my personal appearance. I had extremely greasy hair, severe acne, and was made fun of on a daily throughout elementary school. I reached my current height of 5’4 at age 11 and was the tallest girl in my class up until the 9th grade. My hormones were all over the place and I was considered weird, unattractive, and awkward for the longest time. My feminine curves didn't fully blossom until the very end of my junior year in high school, but it wasn’t until college, where I began to actively work on myself, trying to figure out how to feel comfortable in my own skin.
I was never one of the ‘cool kids’ or did I hang out with the popular crowd. I believe this helped me find my own voice in a sea of people who dressed, looked, and acted the same 24/7. It took years for me to grow into myself and accept me for who I am. It involved a lot of healing and self-compassion, and it is still a work in progress. Back in school, it was all a big popularity contest, not too different from how things are now but I’ve learned to cope with it differently and to give importance to what truly matters.
As such, I wish to share what I’ve learned along the way, in hopes it will resonate with you and potentially help you feel more comfortable in the skin you’re in, because you are good enough, absolutely beautiful, unique, and completely worth it.
Yes, I said it. Taking a break from NYC is the best thing you could possibly do as a New Yorker. It’s crazy how I hadn’t realized this until last weekend when my boyfriend and I decided to go to Lake George, NY to celebrate our one year anniversary (yay!). What brought this realization about? Well, if you live or have lived in the Big Apple before, you must be familiar with the craze and intensity surrounding NYC’s ‘work hard, play hard’ culture. As a positive, this environment keeps you moving, hustling, and forever striving to achieve whatever it is you've set yourself to accomplish. On the flipside, NYC’s overly competitive nature and non-stop pace can leave you feeling burnout, exhausted, and depleted (and I speak from experience).
At this point, I believe you can tell I have somewhat of a love-hate relationship with this city. But what do you do when things get out of hand balance and you lose perspective of the bigger picture? How do you move past focusing on all the negativity besieging this city and readjust your focus to remain optimistic, without losing sight of all the great opportunities NYC, or the cosmopolitan city in which you live in, has to offer?
Life can be pretty unexpected. If three years ago you would've told me I'd be attending AND witnessing the runway shows of some of the biggest names in fashion, as part of New York Fashion Week, I would not have believed you. This is why my experience at this year's NYFW SS17 was completely and utmost surreal.
To me, the world of fashion is (and forever will be) somewhat of a fantasy. The big names, the personalities, the majestic designs, the outpour of creativity, the inventive, the passion, and the absolute sentiment behind every piece... It is all so remarkable. Maybe because I come from such a small place, where big city experiences like these are only seen in movies and lavish episodes of Sex and the City or maybe because I wasn't expecting to be a part of this at all and suddenly I find myself in rooms and events filled with the most unique and one of a kind individuals, all driven by the same desire to create and the love for fashion. But alas, I don't want to stray too far from the topic.
As such, I've put together the following compilation of photographs, covering both blogger events and my favorite runway looks, in order to give you a better feel in regards to my mindblowing experience at New York Fashion Week SS17. Hope you enjoy it!
Throughout my tenure as a blogger, I’ve had the opportunity to meet a sizeable number of truly passionate, incredibly creative and hardworking women, all which at some point or another have mentioned their interest in owning their own profitable business. I hear you girls, I hear you. As such, and for the past few months, I’ve been doing research on women with an entrepreneurial mindset, who’ve had the courage to put themselves and their talents “out there” and have made their dreams a reality by taking the plunge and opening their own businesses.
From my perspective of a young professional woman who’s always had a 9-to-6, while at the same time juggling an endless amount of side-hustles, the idea of having my own business can be a bit daunting. As I see it (and I know several of you do as well), having a 9-to-6 provides a sense of economic stability which can be difficult to attain right off the bat. Certain people save money for a period of time and quit their day jobs when they feel they have a comfortable cushion to dive into their businesses while using their savings to sustain themselves during the initial "pioneering stage" period. Others trade their 9-to-6 for a part-time gig or begin to freelance, which in turn gives them the flexibility and economic stability needed to push their businesses forward.
All in all, there are various ways to go about it, but in today’s post I want to talk about how a particular woman followed her dreams and started her own handcrafted crochet wear business, which is incredibly successful and she is working really, really hard to continue to make things happen for herself. Meet Valentina Escamilla, the owner and founder of Favorite Little Corner (FLC).
Earlier this summer, during my two week trip to Europe, I decided to spend most of my vacation money on experiences (i.e. sightseeing, dining, exploring places I’d never been to) rather than shopping. However, there were two exceptions to this rule. One was a specific day I set apart in Madrid to snatch a few pieces from stores like Bershka and Primark, which aren’t available in NYC, and the other was when I visited Colour Studio at London’s Box Park and learned they sold shoes from the shoe brand BucketFeet.
BucketFeet is a shoe brand committed to collaborating with artists, whose sole mission is to create a better and brighter world. They accomplish this by creating artist-designed shoes which spark conversations about causes and topics worth discussing and by telling an artist’s story, one stunning shoe at a time. Pretty badass, right? This is why in today’s post I want to talk to you about the Pineappleade slip-ons I got in support of Colombian artist DJ Lu’s artistic social movement.
I recently met up with fellow blogger and friend, Mariann Yip, to chat a bit about the realities of being a blogger with a full-time job. As some of you may know, I’m a Marketing Manager at one of the Big 3 music corporations, and this blog is my passion project and main side-hustle. For Mariann, an Advertising Manager at a media production agency, blogging is also a huge priority in her life, which she intends to turn into her full-time career (rooting for the both of us over here!)
So over matcha brews at Cha Cha Matcha, Mariann and I talked for a few hours about our current endeavors, upcoming projects, and our take on several blogging-related matters. It was the first time we had a one-on-one conversation, as we usually run into each other at overly crowded social events, but the overall discussion flowed ever so naturally! This is probably my favorite part about setting up coffee dates and more intimate interactions with other bloggers. I’m all about connecting with inspiring individuals who hold an entrepreneurial mindset, as Mariann does. Networking and getting to know them on a deeper and more significant level has consistently proven to be a memorable learning experience for all parties involved. Take note.
Let's talk about hurr bay-bee, let's talk about you and me! Cause I've been on a "boost your self-confidence" and "be a badass boss lady" roll with my blog posts lately (see here and here), and I can't forget one of the most crucial aspects around building up your morale. Drum roll, please.
Since I relaunched my blog, the one thing I’ve learned about growing my side-hustle and business has been that you’re not going to go anywhere if you don’t network, network, network, and build a community around your passion project. Pretty evident and simple, correct? Well… It takes a bit more legwork than that but listen closely.
As some of you may know, I lost my SD card containing all the photos I took during my two-week trip to Europe with Terry. If you weren’t aware, this is why I stopped posting about our trip after Part I and Part II of my Madrid Travel Diary (if you still haven’t checked these out, you should – both posts incorporate my only photographic memories of our trip. Deep sigh*.)
What in the world happened? Well, I had an old MacBook Pro from 2012 and I wasn’t able to unload the 700+ videos and photographs to its memory. I had an external drive but even transferring the files from the SD card to my external memory took a hot minute. So I decided to download them in batches; as soon as I began drafting a blog post about a specific city, I would extract the files pertaining to that particular portion of our trip over time. Made sense, right?
"I have nothing to wear to (insert random or special occasion here)," said every other woman on this planet. But seriously, there's absolutely nothing in your closet to slip-on and go? I laugh. Hun, spare a moment to take a thorough mental inventory of your wardrobe. Think about every single piece of clothing you currently own and tell me, how bad is the situation? Don't take me the wrong way, I've been there. Rushing and stressing while I rummage through my drawers, without a single clue of what I'll be wearing that day / night / evening / afternoon, you name it! Exhausting, isn't it?
Because I've been down this road much more than I'd like to admit, I've come up with a simple and straight-forward strategy in response to the "I have nothing to wear" dilemma. So ladies, bear with me for a second.
Needless to say, a trip to Madrid isn't complete until you step foot into this magical place. The park counts with a rose garden, boat rides at the pond, the Crystal Palace, a statue walk, outdoor restaurants, opulent fountains, magical turkey birds (a.k.a. peacocks), and so much more! You'll feel like you walked straight into a fairy tale (Bambi not included).
Because at times it can be difficult to put into words how magnificent and immensely special a place is to you, I've pieced together the following three-and-a-half minute video diary to give you a better sense of what this park means to me. I hope you enjoy it and I'm glad to say I was able to share this experience with my SO. Made it all even more meaningful. Kk, check it out!
Not too long ago, I began to obsess over an extremely convenient jewelry rental subscription service called Rocksbox. Their membership grants you access to a personalized rotating closet of designer jewelry from which you can create your own wishlist within their site, thus giving you the opportunity to sort out which Rocksbox pieces you're interested in receiving.
Once your list is complete, a stylist will select three pieces of jewelry which will be sent to you, based on your profile and your wishlist. You can keep and wear these pieces for as long as you want!
Yes, for as long as you want.
You can also return your box as often as you like and your fab Rocksbox stylist will curate your next set and send it to you right away! What's the catch? Nothing. You pay the same membership fee ($19/month) regardless of how often you exchange your box. So sick, I know!
But enough chitchat. Check out my Rocksbox Unboxing + Review below for more details! And if you're down to try it, you can enjoy your first month of Rocksbox for FREE with my sign-up code: adriannanaomixoxo
When I began planning for this two-week trip to Europe, I knew I wanted our journey to begin in Madrid, capital city of Spain. Back in 2010, I was a sophomore at the University of Puerto Rico, longing for a life changing adventure. I worked, I saved up, I busted my little toosh off studying, and I applied to my school’s study abroad program with the Universidad Complutense de Madrid for a spot in their 2010 – 2011 student exchange program. I got in and my life after such experience would never be the same.
I went back to Madrid in 2015 for a short vacation, only to notice how little to nothing had changed. The University looked exactly as I'd left it, the apartment I used to live in, the streets, the sidewalks, and even the local spots we used to hang out at. Time passed, yet everything felt so familiar. I knew I wasn’t the same girl who ventured on her own to a new country; I’d changed quite a great deal.
In short, living in Madrid completely redefined my perspective on life. For it being so dear and special to me, I knew I had to come back. But this time, it was different. This time, I was coming back with a person who is as special to me as the city itself (and maybe even more).
Hello loves! I know it's been a hot summer minute since I last posted; my schedule has been jam-packed with all sorts of events and adventures but I haven't forgotten about you at all! As you can see, I'm back and ready to give you another dose of summer fashion fun, but if you ever wonder about my whereabouts or would like to keep track of my feats and silly shenanigans, you should follow me on Instagram and SnapChat @adriannanaomi. Promise you'll get a few laughs.
As for today, I'm bringing the nude on nude outfit color palette on to new and more bohemian-looking heights.
As some of you may have noticed, the nude color trend has been somewhat all over the place for the past few months. From nude nails, to nude heels, nude pumps, nude lipstick, and nude addidas, this trend has been making its rounds for a while now. Do I dig it? To a certain extent. But you know me, I don't really follow the crowd. I like to take what's out there and make it my own, give it a little Adrianna Naomi spin with a fresh new take!
There's something about the olive green and white combo that drives me wild, in the best possible way ever. Whether it's an olive green top styled with white skinnies or an olive green dress with white sandals, as I'm featuring today, the mix and match of these two colors reminds me of summer and tasty mojitos all the freaking way. And I mean, ain't nothing better than that! Finger snap*.
So for Mother's Day, as seen on Instagram, I did a short and sweet trip to Puerto Rico to hang out with my momma. The crazy thing was leaving the (still) chilly NYC weather to land straight into mid-spring, humid as can be, warm, and oh-so-tropical paradise. But who's complaining? It was just a bit tricky to go from one climate to another, and figuring out what pieces to bringing to go with the forecast update.
As I was explaining, olive green, summer breeze, white sandals, and mojitos. You get the idea. So I had this comfy olive green dress from Brandy Melville, which went gorgeously with my new 7 Dials Shoes Mazel White Sandals (also, as seen onInstagram LOL) and I was set! Few things compare to the relief one feels when wearing a comfortable, yet appealing, outfit while traveling. It honestly comes down to the mid-point where style, convenience, and ease converge, leaving you with a look that's not only perfect for the occasion but also alluring. Wonderful, isn't it?