I’m not a Victim | OOTD Altar’d State


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

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

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

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

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

 

Oversized Sweater Weather

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

OOTD: Nude Cocktail Dress

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

OOTD: Timeless Florals

Dress & Sweater cardigan: Forever 21 | Bag – Coach | Boots – Cliffs by White Mt. | Jacket – Urban Republic

Doesn’t it seem weird to talk about florals in winter? Well, as I was freezing my butt off for this shoot, I do believe that you can still pull off florals in colder weather, as long as you have a sweater, boots, and a jacket to wear over it outside, of course!

This look is inspired by the innocence of a school girl, the confidence of a city walker, and the dreamer of a summer-lover, and the practicality of the everyday woman. The dress and cardigan combo is a classic that won’t go out of style for years to come, and the boots and knee socks add a touch of winter to it. The nude cross body bag is a piece you will probably see a lot of in the coming OOTD posts, mostly because it’s become my everyday bag now. It’s the bag I’ve been wanting for so long! Perfect size, great color, and absolutely versatile with every outfit.

This shoot was done in Pennsylvania, actually in Harrisburg, the capitol. And I was so brave out in the cold weather, but for some reason now that I’m back in Dallas, I’m a wimp again and I’m not taking the weather well, even when its 40 F outside most of the time, which is not nearly as cold as it was that day. Speaking of PA, my lovely little sister did this shoot with me.

Nicoco

 

OOTD: What is Home?

Coat – Urban Republic || Top – Forever 21 || Necklace – Target || Bag – DKNY

Where is home? I think I’ve found the answer now, at least for me. It’s like the distance of blue. Something you only recognize when you’re in the absence of it. When you’re living your life in your everyday routine, you don’t think about it. It’s only when you leave that you realize what you believe is home.

It’s complicated when you think of several places as home. Because how long do you have to be there to think of that location as home? Sometimes it’s only a few days because everything just clicks. But sometimes you can live somewhere for years and never feel at home. It’s hard to understand, but home is in the mindset more than in memories.

Some people say home is where the people you love are residing. But I don’t think that’s always true. It’s where you feel comfortable regardless of who is there. The human element of home is a big part, but also being able to be ok alone is important. Because nothing is guaranteed and just because you have memories so where doesn’t mean you’re required to tie that location to your sense of “home.”

I actually think that if we could overcome the attachment to the human aspect and maybe just the living aspect of home we would travel more. We would make more sacrifices to travel more because we would know that we wouldn’t be leaving anything behind, but rather taking something back, something that would remain a piece of us forever.

Going back to what once was my only home this past week was hard for me. I put on the fuzzy coat, stepped out into the cold air after being on a plane for the first time in five years, and faced my past. It was weird being back, but it made me appreciate my past as well as what I have now that I’ve moved away.

xo Nicoco

 

All Velvet

OOTD: Velvet Skater Dress- Forever 21 | Bag – Calvin Klein | Shoes – Report

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I’ve really taken a liking to velvet and I’m glad it’s back in, because there’s just something about it that makes me want to wear it. It’s soft, shiny, sophisticated. I think it makes a great accent piece, and in this case, its the star of the show. Honestly, I like to keep my outfits simple, and this is about as simple as it gets. The velvet texture is the most valuable part of this look! Skater dresses, or A-line dresses, have always fit my inverted triangle body type the best. It flares just slightly at the hips, giving an illusion of wider hips, thus keeping my body in proportion.

Next week I’ll be traveling back east for the first time in over a year, and at first I was nervous, but I’m definitely ready. I’m looking forward to spending the holidays with my family, hanging out with friends, and doing tons of outfit shoots with my younger sister, the previous photographer of my blog.

And that means I have to be “on-point” all the time there. Every outfit has to be photoshoot worthy. I’m excited to dress my best everyday like I used to!

I’ll definitely be incorporating more velvet into my outfits, so watch out for that!

xo Nicoco