My First Photo Shoot

My fashion account on Instagram was born June 4th, 2017. Just five days after its birth, I did my very first photo shoot at a park. I had chosen three different outfits and of course, my boyfriend was my photographer. I decided to talk about this today because I know a lot of you may be fashion bloggers or fashion lovers who see a lot of people on social media looking flawless all the time and may wonder how a person could be so photogenic and great looking all the time.

I did my very first photo shoot on June 9th and had to find my strength to not run away from the camera. All my life I believed that I just wasn’t photogenic and that I could never stand in front of a camera. EVER.

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On the other hand, people complimenting my outfits would spark a voice in the back of my head that would tell me that I should try becoming a fashion blogger. I always ignored it because I told myself that I would never be like the fashion bloggers or beauty gurus I see on YouTube or Instagram and that my pictures would suck and that no one would follow me, yadda, yadda.

Then I had to take my Portfolio and Professional Development class earlier this summer.

My professor wanted us to create a digital portfolio to display what we wanted to do as a career. Even though I am studying Communications, I still have no idea what I truly want out of it. It seemed like all my classmates were ahead of the game and soon I was intimidated by photographers who had their own work to display, journalist who had articles they had written and then there was me. I had nothing to really show for myself and I found myself waking up in the middle of the night believing that I wasn’t good at anything.

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I then decided, what the hell? Who am I living for? Why am I here feeling sorry for myself? I am pretty great at dressing up. I know this may sound very arrogant, but sometimes you have to toot your own horn. It worked for me because soon I found myself activating my Instagram account, creating this blog, and taking pictures without running away from it!

The pictures you see in this post are all from my very first photo shoot. I did three different outfits and I felt super awkward and uncomfortable that I probably would have not been able to take decent pictures if anyone other than my boyfriend was my photographer. I felt silly doing certain poses or facial expressions because I was in a public place and I knew that out of curiosity, people would look from time to time.

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I honestly look at these pictures and see a difference in how I take photos now versus then. I am more confident in front of the camera now-a-days. It took consistent work and motivation to try harder and I still have both great and not so great photo shoots still. There are just some days that your photos come out great and other days where a domino effect of bad luck just happens. I am glad I am able to share with you all some stepping stones to my fashion endeavor and I hope that this motivates you to overcome camera awkwardness or makes you feel better about your own pictures!

Share this blog with someone who may be camera shy or is stopping themselves from going after that dream the voice in the back of their head is urging them to go for!

Stay stylish!

Yes, I know this image looks like I am smelling my armpit! But cut me some slack, this was my first photo shoot and I had NO idea how to pose hahaha

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Building My Core & Confidence

You guys, I just finished a 10 minute workout video from YouTube fitness trainer Cassey Ho on her channel Blogilates. She released a video about a week ago titled, ‘5 Ways to Build your Core & Confidence’ and I have to admit that it was the hardest ab workout I have done.

I am talking about this today because I am the type of person who gains a little bit of weight and just doesn’t like the way that my clothes look on me anymore. Before I continue, please know that I am not body shaming or trying to preach on how we all have to live a certain healthy lifestyle. I am here to talk to you guys like the very honest person I am and a person who has real thoughts and feelings.

Earlier this year my mom sat down and talked to me and pretty much told me that she noticed that I was gaining weight. She told me this right when I was eating some leftover Chinese food from the night before. Hearing her tell me that she has notice weight gain in me, made me lose my appetite for my leftover food. I was speechless. I was hurt. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing from my mom. Despite how shitty I felt inside, my poker face remained while in my mother’s presence. But once I got in my room, I started trying on some clothes in my closet. Unfortunately my mom was right. I did gain some weight. All the clothes that used to make me feel cute and stylish, just didn’t sit right on my body. They were too tight. They wouldn’t zip up. I was heartbroken.

To make my wake up call even more devastating, I snuck into my mom’s room and weighed myself. I’ll never forget it. I weighed 144 pounds.

I remember venting to my boyfriend about this and I’m not going to lie, I told him that I weighed in at 134 pounds because I did not want to hear the words coming out of my mouth that I was only six pounds away from 150 pounds. I am a 5 ft. 2 in. girl who has weighed 120 the most so when I saw that I had gained almost 25 pounds, my heart ached and my mind was just all over the place.

My fitness journey began shortly after my birthday back in January and although I have not stepped back on the scale, I am pleased to say that half the clothes that didn’t fit me a few months ago, are back to fitting me like they used to. I was using my resources such as the gym at my work and even the gym at my school. I was making myself lean meals and drinking lots of water. Any other type of beverage was for Saturday only.

My mom and I have not talked about my weight since, and as much as it really hurt me to hear my own mother tell me that I was gaining weight, it’s what I needed in order to have this healthy change in myself. So that ties me back into the video I mentioned earlier. Starting out Blogilates videos was very hard in the beginning. Even though they were only 5 or 10 minutes, I always found myself getting frustrated and wanting to give up. It seemed like I would take one step forward and two steps back, but if you are too afraid to fail, you will never succeed. 

Another thing that I started doing this year is lifting weights. Before I had no upper body strength and was getting tired lifting 3 pound weights, but now I lift 8 pounds. It may not seem like a big difference, but it is a healthy difference for me and my body. My stomach is getting flatter. My arms have gotten firmer. My running has remained steady and great for my heart. But most importantly, my confidence has escalated with the help of living a healthier lifestyle and my fashion endeavor.

I want women of all ages to know that they can find their strength when they hit rock bottom. I want women to know that they can jump back into being a healthier version of themselves whether it is physically, mentally, spiritually or any other way. I want women to not apologize for putting themselves first and wanting to be their own kind of Wonder Woman. If you really want something, you have to begin some type of journey for yourself.

I want to know what your dreams are and what you have done to reach them. And if you haven’t began your journey to your goals, what is holding you back?

Think about what it is you want out of your life and how you can become the best version of  yourself.

Build your core. Build your confidence. Stay Stylish.

Work, Work, Work, Work, Work

Before I got my current job, I was working retail. I was working at the store WetSeal and pretty much had the ability to wear whatever I wanted as long as it was an appropriate length and cut that would represent the store and myself well. WetSeal merchandise was always encouraged to wear, so you can imagine just how much I would spend on clothes there on pay day. Plus who doesn’t like a great employee discount?

Now that I am in an office environment, there had to be some changes to my wardrobe. I am the person who sits at the front desk. I answer phone calls, I work on documents, I greet visitors and try to help them with general questions about certain services and because I sit in the front desk, I am the first face people see which puts the need to represent my department well. This put some pressure on me about what I can’t wear anymore. No more ripped jeans. No more spaghetti strapped tops. No more shorts, even if they were dressy shorts. No more shirts that say words like “Tacos & Tequila” or “Beach Please” or “no makeup, no problem” or “all I need is coffee and wifi”…you get the picture. I went into the job interview wearing a high neck black dress and black closed toe flats. I kept the makeup natural looking and straightened my hair. You have no idea how much I researched on what to wear for an interview. Maybe I can blog on some tips soon?

Anyways, my style has transformed since being at my current job and today I am going to show you 3 different looks that I have gotten compliments on at work. This first one is a bit fierce, but it is not over the top. In my personal opinion, mixing two different animal prints is pretty daring and can make any outfit look more trendy. This outfit is under $75 and has started a lot of conversations from visitors to the office.

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This second outfit was under $50! The colors in this outfit made me think of Daphnie from Scooby-Doo! Pretty sophisticated and girly at the same time.

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Last look is one that plays with flawless black and white with a pop of color! This outfit was also under $75 and the skirt was only $4!

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Which one of these outfits is your favorite? Do you want to know details on these outfits? Tomorrow I will be posting more details on these three outfits and am currently working on a video for you guys! I hope you guys enjoyed these looks. Do not be afraid to allow your style to grow up with you! Stay stylish my friends.

 

 

What The Rain Told Me

Hello everyone! As you know from yesterday’s post, it was raining here in my hometown. I left out some details of the significance of the rainy weather so let me explain by saying this first, it stormed so badly in my area that I was only at work for an hour before everyone was sent home due to a bug power outage. The rain came in with a bang and caused flooding, many accidents, power outages, stalled cars, lightning shows, gusts of raging wind and panic to a lot of people who were out and about or watching the news at home. Eventually the rain did stop in the evening, but man was it scary Monday morning.

I never saw this storm coming. Never heard form anywhere that there was a chance of rain or anything like that so I was definitely taken off guard. Secondly, the rain washed away a lot of filth. The plants are standing tall and bright now and the streets in the neighborhoods look brand new. Whatever bird poop was on my car prior to the storm was long gone and when the sun finally peeked out, it was like a different place than before. This got me thinking of my how much my soul could use a bit of cleansing.

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I had school, work, my fashion endeavor, my fitness journey and social life all over the place and organization was non-existent. I am going to really try to be more consistent and to be honest, I really enjoy blogging at night before bed because it reminds me of how I used to write in my diary, but once school starts, I am not sure if anyone is going to stay up to read my blog. I can still post in the evening, but it would probably be at 9 p.m. which I believe is a respectable hour.

Speaking of consistency, I want to transform my Instagram into a set theme or pattern instead of posting random things all the time. I have been YouTubing videos on how to edit photos, how to pose, how to set a theme, how to view grids and all sorts of things. I am able to dive deeper into this now that I finished my summer courses! I took two classes and gave it my best shot and thankfully came out with passing grades in both classes. I owe it to myself these next two weeks to put myself first now and focus wholeheartedly on my blog and on my Instagram and of course taking some fashion photos for you all.

So how does any of this relate to the rain we had over here?

Well for starters, the rain was pretty scary at first and things got pretty ugly. I felt this way when I started this blog and my Instagram account. I found myself doing the first photo shoot and felt kinda silly posing in a park. I honestly felt overwhelmed and tired afterwards. Overwhelmed and tired were feelings that I got know a bit too much this summer. Now that I do not have to worry about going to school, some weight has been taken off my shoulders.

Secondly, the rain went all out at first and flooded everything, but after a while it was more steady. This is how I feel about the way my Instagram account is. I uploaded about four photos the first day I created my Instagram which was June 4, 2017. I also posted about three photos a day which was super tiring and an unrealistic expectation of myself. Now I try to post one photo a day and sometimes two. Either way, I don’t want it all to be revolving around the same shoot because I don’t want to annoy followers with the same kind of photos over and over again.

Lastly, the rain nourished everything around it in a way that no human simply can’t do by themselves. This taught me that I am going to need help from others if I really want my fashion endeavor to be a success. I am a very independent person and I hate asking for help, but I need it. I can only take so many good photos of myself, by myself. It helps when someone can take your photo. Also, I cant be the only follower to my fashion account and expect people to get tips and outfit inspiration. I am seriously nothing without any of my followers so I will end this blog by telling you all thank you again for becoming a part of my fashion family and following my Instagram account or blog right here on WordPress. Your support means everything to me and I always try to be as interactive with you all as much as possible, so don’t be a stranger, say hi and comment once in a while on here or on my Instagram. I love hearing from you all.

Think about what it is you really want and just go for it! But remember to stay stylish while you are out there working for what you want!

Staystylish

My 15th Birthday

I was looking through some old photo albums because I wanted to find a good picture of myself to use for flashback Friday. I ended up looking through my quinceanera album and came across some photos to share with you guys!

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As you can see I had a white dress with a red ribbon across my waist. My dress was actually made by a very talented woman who has her own workshop in her garage. My church wanted my dress to be all white, but I wanted a red dress since that is my favorite color. In the end, we had to come to a compromise. I saw many dresses that I liked, but they didn’t meet the church’s requirements or my family’s budget. We spent about $300 for my dress to be made.

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Okay, so when I turned 15 years old, this was before I had gotten my braces. You can see that I had a little overbite, but I still looked and felt beautiful nonetheless.

I was also straightening my hair because I couldn’t stand my natural wavy/curly hair. I refused to curl it on my big day, so my hair stylist suggested we make a braid in the hairline area and create more of a half up-half down look. We topped it off with a red rose clip one of my tias handmade.

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Last but not least, one of my favorite pictures from that night. To go with my red theme, my cake flavor was red velvet. I was encouraged to take the first bite out of it just for the hell of it and a great picture came out of it! My red lace gloves were from the store Hottopic and were the only thing I wore that wasn’t hand made.

Have a great day and happy Friday!

 

Feed Your Soul Without Using Your Wallet

My fashionistas, financially struggling college students, minimum wage part-time employees, anyone living paycheck to paycheck…remember that it is okay to take a step back and search for what is in your closet before searching for a deal through online shopping. It was about two weeks ago when I decided to set aside some time to go through everything in my closet. I tried on things and realized that not only did things not fit like they used to, but my style has changed over time.

The clothes I felt this way about had no place in my closet anymore so I decided to grab a big bag and started placing these clothes in there so I can donate them to thrift stores. I also took my name brand items and am making a bag that I will take to Plato’s Closet once I finish going through my drawers. By just going through my closet, I ended up donating two bags of clothing and five pairs of shoes from my closet.

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I have also given shoes and clothing to little donation stations like the one in the image above. I was able to give back to the community and make extra space in my closet. I know that donating clothing can be hard when you tell yourself that you will fit back into those pants one day, or if certain clothes have an emotional value to you, but remember that clothes are meant to be worn and flaunted instead of never seeing the light of day again.

If you ever feel this way, my advice to you is to look at my blog post, Wants vs Needs and create a list of the things you currently want and a list of things that you need. Look at this list and ask yourself, “Am I willing to get rid of this one item that doesn’t work for me anymore for a new item I want/need that will work for me?”

If the answer is yes, find your strength and donate!

After donating clothing, you will feel strong for overcoming this obstacle which in turn is great for your soul and does not hurt your wallet. Before donating, I did stop and think for a moment in my car one last time if I really wanted to give all these clothes up. What made me certain that this was the best thing to do, was the fact that there are a lot of people just like me who come to thrift stores in hopes to finding something nice without over-spending.

On a side note since we are on the topic of thrift shopping, guess what?

I won a $10 gift card from Thrift City! They loved my photo of the dress I purchased from their store that I purchased and wore to my friend’s wedding last Saturday. Dress is in the image below.

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And here is the gift card that I won and picked up earlier today!

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So here is how I won this gift card…

First I purchased an item from their store, then I posted a photo of me wearing the dress on my Instagram account @alamocitysara and I used the hashtag #shopthriftcity . Make sure that if this is something that you’re interested in doing that your account is not set on private and that you are certain that there is a Thrift City in your area that you can shop at and pick up your gift card.

That is all you have to do in order to have a chance to win a $10 gift card. They pick a new winner every week and will DM you if you win with details on what to do next in order to claim your prize!

I believe this is all I have for you all today. Make the move to donate and give back to your community. Also take the time to step back and think about what you really want to spend your money on by listing the things you want and need.

Thanks for reading and stay stylish!

Guilty Pleasures

As you all know, I attended my friend’s wedding the other day. It was a beautiful day. Not only did I witness the couple become one, I also reunited with a lot of my friends who I have not seen since I transferred to a university. I was glad to see that my friends were all doing well and just as happy as I was to see the bride and groom getting married.

So why did I title this post guilty pleasure?

Because my guilty pleasure is wedding related. Guys, I love watching the show, ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ and what better time to share that with you guys than now?!

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My great friend wore this beautiful gown that she got from David’s Bridal. It is not over-the-top, but undeniably beautiful on her. The dress had a three quarter sleeve with lace detail and mesh neckline versus bare shoulders. The dress featured a thin jewel piece ribbon in front of her waist and a straight, long skirt with a longer cut in the back. She wore the dress with the long piece in church and was able to remove it for the dance later on.

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The veil was attached to the bride’s floral crown that she made herself! My friends are very into anything Dia de los Muertos inspired, so this floral crown was a nice touch for her big day. Their wedding cake definitely gives off this impression and went well with their wedding theme.20170716_125841.jpg

I love dresses in general, but wedding dresses are just very stunning and there is so many styles out there that I think are very beautiful and can make any woman out there believe that she is truly gorgeous and special. Although I love watching this show, I want you all to understand that I am only into it for the dresses. I hate the drama the bride’s friends and family bring and seeing the poor bride trying to please everyone. The dresses are gorgeous and I love that incredible moment when the bride realizes that she has found her perfect dress.  My friends are a beautiful married couple and are off to bigger and better things together.

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I want to wish my friends a great honeymoon and a wonderful marriage

God bless you both!