I’m not a Victim | OOTD Altar’d State

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Dress – Altar’d State | Bag – Coach | Bracelet- Kate Spade | Necklace – Le Tote | Mules – Target

Emotions run the human mind. It is the practice of controlling those emotions with ration and logic that creates a society of people who can respectively coexist.

My generation has been fed the lies of victimization, and I want to address this topic because it is an unpopular one, but definitely a topic in dire need of salvaging.

All of my life, I have been taught that there is an “oppressor” and that a lot of things that happen are just “life” and not my fault. It’s an easy way to think. It makes it easier to explain when there are forces of life that just inflict suffering on you. Couldn’t pass that test? The teacher must be biased in some way. You couldn’t lose weight? It’s because the industry force feeds us standards that can’t be achieved but also gives us fewer healthy options. Unhappy with life? Must be a chemical imbalance.

Yes, some of these situations are true. They sometimes are completely true.

But believing this way automatically causes you to automatically shut down. By victimizing yourself, you don’t have any choices anymore. You are your own limitations.

By victimizing yourself, you can easily place the blame and anger and frustration that comes along with it on someone or something else. And of course, you cannot control other people or circumstances. But you can control yourself.

I think the way we put our emotions and egos on a pedestal is the main reason why we as a society tend to victimize ourselves. If we are a victim we need saving. And we can’t always save ourselves.

We apply it in relationships – that’s why I believe a lot of relationships are ruined. We try to beat the other person, try to overcome the oppression, we believe that they are someone to challenge rather than a partner to join forces with.

My generation in particular has seen this rise of being told we could do whatever we want by virtually doing nothing. We don’t take responsibility. There are a few of us that do believe in hard work, but from what I’ve seen, the vast majority are stuck in a world of reality but trained to think we can do whatever we want, so we feel stuck. We feel oppressed. Depressed. And most of all, we have become numb to life. Life just happens now.

What is the point of routines? What is the point of working in a field we never thought we’d be in? We start spiraling down into this rabbit hole of depression, wondering “why me,” pulling a victim card. And it’s not all our fault – we were taught that we are all special and that we should be able to do whatever we want, but then never told how to achieve that. We forget the important things in life, such as family values, religion, community, in sacrifice for this sense of self-purpose, but more in the sense of a egotistical dream of becoming someone important but without doing anything to achieve it.

I am guilty myself. Sometimes I find myself wondering, “Why can’t I just stay home, have enough money for a luxury life, and not having to work?” But never knowing what exactly would get me to that point.

I want to change that mindset. You can do anything, but only if you take responsibility for finding a realistic way to do that.

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Green Spring | OOTD

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Forever 21

Romper (similar here) – Forever 21 | Bag – Coach | Shoes – Naturalizer

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Green is one of the colors I have been told to avoid, as my skin tone has a reddish warm to nuteral undertone. But here I am, parading around in this green pastel romper! Haha!

Forever 21 will always been my go-to for affordable outfits, and this is no exception. Rompers are just so easy. Like dresses, they are an all inclusive outfit. The only downside is going to the bathroom is a chore in these, as you have to literally get completely naked just to use the toilet. But it’s worth it!

I was a little tipsy during this shoot, I have to admit. I guess that’s why I look so happy though?

 

Nicoco

Completing My Capsule Wardrobe | YOINS Wishlist

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As minimalism has started to take over my way of thinking, I’ve had the liberation of tossing all of my wardrobe and starting over with a capsule wardrobe. Over the past month, I’ve been collecting pieces that I can wear all through the spring and summer and match with other pieces I have easily. The main idea of the capsule wardrobe is that it is only pieces you love, no fillers, no “just because I bought it” pieces. So I’ve been slowly curating my closet and picking clothing items I love and would wear over and over again this spring and summer season.

Lately I’ve been finding some high quality but affordable pieces at YOINS, an online shop. The name YOINS apparently comes from “Your inspiration.”  They sell a lot of Tumbler-looking clothes, but I was able to find pieces that would definitely fit into my floral/cute style of wardrobe. There were so many cute dresses, tops and jewelry pieces that I liked, but these are my top three!

YOINS Wish List

Blue Floral Playsuit

If you follow my Instagram (@nicoc.o) you’ll know that right now I’ve been really into rompers and play suits. This cute YOINS blue bell sleeved romper is perfect for Texas summer weather (which seems to last until November), so I know I will get a lot of use out of it!

Minimalistic White Tee

The t-shirt on the top right is also a great staple to have in a Texas capsule wardrobe because it is loose and will match with shorts, skirts, and jeans. I think it will also be easy to layer, which is suuuuper important here.

Brown/Gold Choker Necklace

Lastly, my YOINS wishlist has to include a minimalistic gold necklace, because it is so timeless and perfect for the choker trend without being too noticeable. For my personal style (cute, girly, simple), I like to keep my jewelry clean and delicate.

All of the above mentioned items are also ON SALE right now, so be sure to check them out at YOINS, along with all of the other cute items the site has! One thing I love about them already is their great sale prices! 

I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to try out these items, so stay tuned for the unboxing and review!

Nicoco

OOTD | The Elephant Dress

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OOTD: Tunic Dress – The Elephant Pants ( sold out since they were on Shark Tank, but many other similar pieces sold on their site https://www.theelephantpants.com )

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Texas can’t make up its mind on whether winter is done. These pictures are actually from a few weeks ago, when we went to Rockwall, and it was summer weather, up in the high 70’s, low 80’s  (okay, I know that’s not summer for Texas, but for a native Pennsylvanian, that’s summer!). But of course, now in March, it’s back down in the 40’s. Makes a lot of sense, eh?

This tunic dress was so perfect for the breezy cool wind on that hot day, though. I can’t wait to wear it more often! And yes, The Elephant Pants just appeared on Shark Tank a week ago, and no, I didn’t  buy this dress because of Shark Tank! I actually heard about this company through a friend, and I fell in love with their designs. Most of the clothes they sell is very colorful, but I opted for this dress because it would match more accessories. The material is well-made, and part of the profits for this dress are donated to help elephants in need in Thailand. It’s also perfect for the relentless Texas sun because it covers a lot of skin (hence less burning) and is still very breezy and breathable.

Lately, I’ve been trying to organize my life and try to be at peace with myself, and one of the things I decided to do was to take up a capsule wardrobe.  Essentially, a capsule wardrobe is a wardrobe made for a season that is only the best pieces that you would always wear, the ones that give you confidence when you wear them. Think about it, how many times do you put on an outfit in a rush and then when you get out of the house, you just feel like shit because it wasn’t the greatest combination or you’re wearing something that makes you feel insecure? The capsule wardrobe prevents those situations. You should be able to pull out any outfit and have it match and feel confident. This means buying things that fit your personal style, buying things that you will actually use, and also things that are of high quality.

For the next few posts, I will be featuring my capsule wardrobe. I threw out almost everything (ok, I donated it), and started over. This dress was one of the first pieces in the wardrobe for Spring/Summer.

What do you think of the concept of the capsule wardrobe? Be sure to check out the colorful and beautiful pieces from The Elephant Pants!

 

xo Nicoco

Valentine’s OOTD: Flower Among the Wilted

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OOTD: Floral Dress – Forever 21 | Bag – Coach | Bracelet – Amazon | Shoes – Naturalizer

I kind of suck at being a blogger sometimes because technically, I should be providing some helpful advice about Valentine’s Day. However, I guess I’m not, because this post ends up going up practically on Valentine’s Day.

Florals are what I think of when I think of a Valentine’s Day outfit. But of course, it’s February, and while Dallas has been pretty temperate, all of the plants are still dead. So in a way, I was definitely the most colorful part of the shoot for this OOTD. Also, right now Forever 21 Valentine’s Sale is going on for 20% Off All Dresses! (2/9-2/14)

I could tell you that wearing a cute outfit and doing different make up will make your day more special, but in the end, it’s really about your mindset of your relationship. When you’re in a long-term relationship, you tend to overlook these things. Yeah, you might do romantic things together on these types of holidays, but if you think about it, you could be doing these things everyday. And before, at one point, maybe you were doing these things everyday.

It’s the honeymoon phase. You are conscious of the work you need to put into the relationship to win your significant other over. You are infatuated with the other person. You do absolutely everything together.

And for me personally, my husband and I were in a pretty long honeymoon phase. I’m sure people assumed once things cooled down we would be divorced since we were married young. And marriage is a challenge….but what I’ve noticed is that the love evolves.

It starts out as a crush, right? Then an infatuation. Then as time goes by, years pass and the love ferments, like a good wine, into something deeper, richer, and more like a family element that you don’t have in the beginning. You are in love with every part of them, but more now so in a way that you would show it in subtle ways. Love is now doing the dishes, canceling a work meeting to be with them, decorating a plate of food for them before it’s served. It’s staying up late talking them through their problems, learning to accept their faults, changing yourself to become a better person for them. Learning how to inspire each other.

And if you are single on Valentine’s Day, just be comfortable in your own skin, knowing that you are working on yourself. I think even for people in relationships, that is good to remember. If you’re not good to yourself, you won’t be able to make someone else as happy as you could.

I guess that could translate into dressing yourself well, couldn’t it? So dress well, eat well, and spark your confidence, not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day, whether you are single or in a relationship.

Happy Love Day!

Nicoco

 

Monthly Favorites: January 2017

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January is pretty much over, and I can’t believe how fast 2017 is already going by! It’s kind of scary that I can go out in shorts already (but this is Texas…). I discovered and re-discovered a lot of great products this month that I wanted to share! So many are famous, but famous for a reason.

Sunday Riley Tidal Moisturizer

I got this little sample at Sephora when I was buying a lipstick (of course I was!) and I have been loving it! It goes on watery but dries almost matte on the skin, locking in the moisture and also controlling oil at the same time. I have extremely oily skin, and I can use this without a problem. It also has brightening properties, which is great for acne scarring.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

I have been having some major breakouts since I have been off the pill and spironolactone, so for spot treatment I have been using this! It must be used at night since it dries on quite crusty and pink (oh yeah how gross is that) but when morning comes, the paupules will be dried out and shrunken! I have found that this doesn’t really work for cystic acne, but it does work great for whiteheads and paupules.

Laura Mercier Setting Powder

OMG. This stuff really does get rid of pores (at least for the time you have your make-up on)! The trick is to use a buffing brush or a powder puff to apply this instead of a fluffy brush. It really sets base make up better than any other powder I’ve used. The hype is REAL.

Hada Labo Whitening Lotion

I actually used to use this a few years ago when I was trying to diminish acne scars, and since I had the terrible breakouts near the end of 2016, I decided this was probably a good idea to help with the scarring that had occured. In just the few weeks I’ve been using it, my scars have lightened! It’s a great addition to my skin care routine.

Mario Badescu Facial Spray

Another hyped product, this facial spray is great for a setting spray after make up, and it’s also very matteifying to use right after moisturizer. The bottle even says you can use it on your hair, but I just stick to my face. I have a feeling I’m going to be loving this in summer time the most.

Benefit Gimme Brow Gel Tint

After I got my brows waxed for the first time at Miniluxe Salon, I decided to do away with pencil brow products and find something more natural. In Asia, tinted brow gels are very popular, and Benefit’s Gimme Brow tinted gel got great reviews. This is the mini size in the shade 3, and it goes perfectly with my hair color and skin tone. It comes out at a warm medium brown color. I love the fact that Benefit’s products usually come in a travel mini size because not only can you carry around your fav make up products in your purse, but also you can try it at a fraction of the cost before you commit to the bigger size. I can say with confidence that I am definitely buying the full size of this product!

Dr. Jart Black Label BB Cream

Dr. Jart BB Cream is one of the few that provide almost full coverage without looking too cakey like some foundations would. I always trust the Korean brands over the American BB Creams because the American brands I’ve tried are more like tinted moisturizers. This one in particular is for acne prone skin. I don’t get very oily while wearing this with a primer and a setting powder. This is one of those perfect, everyday base make up items.

Hourglass Viel Primer

Speaking of primers! This primer is yet ANOTHER hyped product. But, it’s sooo good for oily skin. I have super super SUPER oily skin ever since I got off all of my meds, and this is great! I would say, however, that a good affordable dupe for this product is the Rimmel Stay Matte primer.

Dior Rouge Bal

I did a full review on this product earlier this month. This is one of my holy grail lipsticks. I may have a lot of lipsticks, but there are only a few I can actually wear everyday, not for a shoot, because my lips are dry and I can’t use most lip balms (I break out). This is a light pinky nude shade that looks innocent with a little blush on the cheeks.

Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo Seeker

I actually picked this up at Sephora while I was there to get the Veil Primer mentioned above, and I’m really glad I did. This is a very easy color, and the formula is creamy and a bit sheer. But best of all, even though this is close to a tinted lip balm, it doesn’t break me out like most do! Fingers crossed!

Chanel Rouge Coco Cecile

This is another everyday lipstick. It actually matches so well with my lips that the only thing it adds is the shimmer. I think it’s great for a no make up make up look.

MAC Fast Play

I was looking for a reddish version of the other shade by MAC called Cosmo, and this is definitely it. The formula is also an amplified finish, and it is similar to Cosmo, but less pink and more on the red side. When swatches on the hand, it looks muavey, but when I wear this on my lips it looks like a perfect red on me. I really don’t understand!  XD

 

I think I went a little product crazy this month, which is really ironic because I was hoping to be better with my spending habits this year, but it also ties into my other resolution, which was to clear up my skin. Most of these are skincare products, right?! Anyway, I hope to do full reviews of the products mentioned today. On to February!

 

Nicoco

Dallasite: Yelp Elite Happy Hour Event at Eureka! Dallas

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Yelp Dallas hosted their first restaurant event this past week. It was a happy hour at the gourmet burger joint, Eureka! in West Village Dallas. 

Eureka! is a chain that is located mainly in California, but also has a location here in Dallas. For this particular event, the menu was some of their famous starters as well as beers, wine, and their Moscow Mule.

Yelp Staff was kind as always, and it was great to see friends from Yelp and meet new people. I think the reason I love being Elite is because it forces my introverted self to go out and be social and learn new things about people I meet.

Their riblets were pretty good! 

Corn dog lollipops are a great appetizer to share with the group! The mustard sauce that came with it complimented it well.

And yes… they had brussels sprouts! They were actually really good. Kinda tricked me for a moment, made me think I was eating healthy.

Apparently these were beer fries! They were delicious and did go well with my drink.

I ordered wine the first time around and that didn’t go with any of the food, honestly. But this! This is their Moscow Mule and it went so well with everything, I wish I’d just ordered two of these!


We actually forgot to bring cash to tip the servers, so we ordered an apple crisp with ice cream, and it definitely topped off the night. It was the taste of homemade pie with ice cream. 

If you’re in the area, check out this gourmet burger joint! As you can see, they have a lot more than just burgers. I’m grateful to be a part of this event with Yelp Dallas. I was able to experience Eureka’s best! Here is their Yelp Page for reference.

Oversized Sweater Weather

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OOTD: Taupe Oversized Sweater – H&M | Velvet Skirt – Zara Kids | Boots – A.N.A. | Crossbody Nude Purse – Coach

The weather has been grey and rainy, but with this oversized sweater, I’m prepared to stay cozy! I think this looks a little schoolgirl again… maybe I have an obsession? This H&M sweater was actually a last deal steal, but here is a similar version here. Oversized clothing is great because you can layer it with other pieces, but it’s also a win for me because I’m still not at my fit version of myself… so it can hide a lot! Do I have a pot belly under this sweater? Maybe. Am I wearing a shirt underneath it? Who knows.

It’s hard to stay on top of the “winter” trends here in Dallas because the weather is constantly switching between spring and winter lately. Yesterday I walked out of my house in a full on winter outfit complete with boots to find it was 70 degrees outside. Today I walked out in flats and it was back into winter mode and I tearfully regretted my outfit decisions all day at the office while wrapped up in a blanket. 

Either way, I’m going to keep wearing the sweaters until it’s too hot, because they really help me stay comfortable!

Nicoco

Dallasite: MiniLux Highland Park Yelp Elite Event

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Yelp Dallas has started their 2017 Elite events! There was actually an event before this, but I couldn’t attend due to a clash in schedules. This particular event was at Minluxe in Highland Park, Dallas, TX.


Miniluxe is a high-end nail and waxing salon, first starting in Boston, MA. In recent years they have expanded and there are five locations in the Dallas area so far. 


Miniluxe sets themselves apart from the usual market by being extremely sterile. Everything used on customers are sanitized using advanced techniques in their Clean Lab. They are also very customer service oriented and go out of their way to make each guest feel at home. 
 

At the Yelp Elite Event, they were offering color refreshes on nails and toes, facial waxes, and massages. Since I have on Nexgen nails, I couldn’t take advantage of their nail services, but I did do my first ever eyebrow wax, and now I’m not sure if I can go on without doing it again (pictures will come in later posts… muahaha). I’m considering having my Nexgen removed and having a Miniluxe manicure. The true test to see if I have cured my dermatophagia. If you’re not familiar with dermatophagia, please check out my article on it published on The Mighty.


Overall, it was a great way to kick off 2017 Yelp Dallas, and I can’t wait to visit the Miniluxe Salon in my area of Dallas.

Nicoco

OOTD: Nude Cocktail Dress

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OOTD: Dress – Windsor | Necklace – Target | Cat Headband – Charlotte Russe

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I originally bought this dress for a Yelp Elite event back in November. I remember having no idea what to what to wear to a cocktail party and trying to find a dress last minute. And let me tell you, it is hard to find a cocktail dress that doesn’t have spaghetti straps, require a strapless bra, or have a shiner finish on the material. I just couldn’t do the spaghetti strap with a strapless bra thing because it was cold and I didn’t want to also have to go out and buy a strapless bra. And let’s be totally honest here… it’s winter and I have flabby arms!

So I went out in a panic, last minute, to different stores all over the North Dallas area. I started out going to my regulars – Forever 21, H&M, Lulu’s, and even Victoria’s Secret (hey, sometimes you can wear lingerie as a dress!), but I couldn’t find anything that suited a cocktail party. It was crazy. I ended up dragging myself to the Galleria Mall in Addison, which I hate going to because the traffic is crazy in that area, to check out Papaya. And of course, there wasn’t anything even close to a cocktail attire there. Right when I was about to give up, I saw the store accross from Papaya: it was called Windsor. I was drawn to it because I saw some nice upscale-looking dresses in the window.

I thought, eh, why not, I’m giving up anyways, just go look. So I went in and it was crazy; there were so many nice dresses at affordable prices! Within the first ten minutes, I was in the dressing room with 7 dresses to try on. I almost bought two dresses, but decided that I would just go with the nude long sleeved one to see how the material held up. I bought a wine-colored velvet clutch from Windsor as well (not pictured), which I will definitely continue to use for formal events. It was literally the morning of the event, so I was super thankful that I was able to discover Windsor and find a great deal on a dress. 

It’s a between a mini and a midi length on my short body – I would say this is probably a mini on a normal to tall woman. I am 5’1″ and it comes right above the knee for me. This dress is made of a suede material and it has a giant gold zipper on the back that is not in-your-face, but just large enough to make a statement. It is a bit low cut in the front, but I think for a cocktail party or clubbing or something similar to those siuations, it is appropriate. The best parts about this dress are the long sleeves, comfortable material, and the fact that you don’t have to buy a special bra for this! 

The Yelp Elite event Cocktails for Charity was a success, and I felt confident in the dress. It was a really fun night! Hopefully I’ll have places to wear this dress in the future!

Nicoco