• Luxe Diaries,  Uncategorized

    I Haven’t posted forever…So Here goes…| Real V.s Reel

    Hey Luxe Babes and Gents

    This isn’t going to be a fashion post…I mean, If your reading this…I know you are a true follower…or forgot to unfollow…lol!

    DISCLAIMER: This Post may not be the most heavily edited…I’m kinda in my feelings about my life…and Im leaving out a lot…probably TONS of additional information for you to really connect the dots. Im just scratching the surface…not ready to be completely raw…yet. So Forgive my candidness and scatter babbling…but typing this helps turn tragedy into tears and tears to therapy. I need this…more then you ever know.

    This is going to be more of a “Lets talk abt the invisible Elephant in the Room” type of post. My Feeling on life…The sadness in mine. My instagram followers know that I try to always be “real” to a certain degree. This is mainly because I see the beauty and the tragedy of what social media can indirectly do to out mental state! Social media is beneficial in a lot of ways…but I can see and have been subjected to its flaws. (Humor and whittness included…not sold separately)

    If we don’t consciously exercise our self-awareness muscle, we might never realize how much the, sometimes hours, of mindless scrolling can affect the way we think about ourselves and our lives. There are some of us who think we are too fat, too thin…too short or too tall! Some of that think that they should have been married by now…or have been a mother of at least one child…Or that they have one kid too many, Some of us think that if we are single, we are broken…or that if our home don’t look immaculate 24/7 …we simply don’t and will never have it together!

    Some of us think we are so behind the curve in finances if we cant just go to the chanel store and purchase that Buttery Calf skin leather bag we have always dreamed of. But I want you guys to do is take a deep breath and take other peoples lives with a grain of salt. Yes! There are some people out there who literally have saved and worked their ass off to get what they have…and that’s awesome!! Inspiring even! But You will probably never know just the amount of work and sacrifice they put in to get what they have!

    But then…there are others, who wear the best of the best…drive the sleekest cars…live in the poshest of neighborhoods and are in debt up to their ears!!
    If they loos their job…ISSA WRAP! And the Jone’s aren’t handing out personal loans to help us out when our finances are going down the drain!

    I lived out of my means for a long while. Now, I wasn’t out here on my way less then 6 Figure Salary buying Audi’s and dropping thousands on Chanel bags and eating lobster and caviar as a Bi-Weekly treat. But I was using credit cards to create a life I wanted in order to feel “Normal”. It is indeed…toxic.

    BooHoo Plus Size Floral Satin Wrap Dress

    You see…My normal was not being “Extra” all the time, It was being able to buy extras when I wanted them and not having to be drilling down my checking account to see if I could afford it. It started out (Post buying my home 3 years ago” Purchasing (Charging) and paying off every month. Then I became Lax…The payments got lower (Less then the Balance) and the Balances became higher, Life slooooooowly creeped up on me.

    Long story short…I could no longer breathe anymore. I got anxious when the phone rang…or I checked my mail. It was hard…tons of tears and a LOT of me hiding…because I could not let my family know how I screwed up. I could never reach out to them and ask for a bail out…not prideful…its just not a thing with my family. We have an unspoken “Dont talk abt out unless its critical” clause… And it would never be criticle enough for me too seek help from them (Other then the little advice from my Sister and BIL…but that’s it) I’m NOT here to give financial advice on what to do…BUT I will say that the feeling of Financial suffocation is an Awful, emotional feeling. Am I completely healed of this demon? I would love to say yes…but I know I’m not. I’m a little more cautious. I use my Debit card for most things these days…but I still have that overspending bug. So I have to reel it in when I feel out of control. Its like a eating disorder…but with money!

    The same goes for my relationships….my Weight…my feelings of insecurity and “Will I Always be alone???”. We ALL have things that we are feeling that weighs on us. I know I have some depression…and anxiety. I HATE the weight i’m at…yet I’m tired of dieting. I wish I was “Body Positive” and Fat and Happy!” BUT IM NOT. I don’t Love my body at this weight…and neither do I feel Healthy at this weight (Which is the #1 thing I want to do…feel better!) It’s a thing! An in the Plus-Size community, I feel like we lack HONEST conversations about what we are accepting in our lives. (And Im NOT speaking to people who have legit medical illnesses and such…or who TRUELY just like being heavy…and that is Far and few…weather we want to admit it or not. At least im honest with myself!

    “Your Soooo Pretty Stephanie! I cant believe you dont at least have a boyfriend!?!!?” I’m an introvert who just wants to be with someone who like to chill at home…or snuggle on roof tops across atlanta! LOL! (Do Yall realize how hard that is to find?? LOL!) To be blatantly honest…I’m not sure I am at the right place in my Mental health to allow someone in my space to love me! Would I believe “him” if he complimented me? Is he really interested in getting to know me or is he just trying to hit it? (Yes…at 40…this is still a thing!” . Will he truly accept all of me (In my John Legend voice) and all my flaws?? I secretly done even believe John Legends words…cause Crissy is a whole snack and her flaws would be my “After” even after baring 2 children and aging! Im just being real…lmao! (And I Love Crissy T! IJS!)

    So to get to the point of the point of the point…Everyone’s story isn’t what you think. Social media…your co-workers and your neighbors…don’t always believe what you see or hear! I mean…some of your friends are out here renting MK Bags from rent-a center! Did you know that was a thing? Yeah…your welcome. (And if they are renting MK Bags…they are WAY behind SIS! If imma go broke or rent a bag…It’s gonna read Chanel, Hermes or Bottega… SOMETHING of substance! lol!

    I often sit and Cry (I told yall I had bouts of depression) abt all the mistakes I made…the reflection in the mirror…the thought about loosing what little looks I had left after turning 40. And although I know it isn’t the healthiest way of coping…its ok to cry sometimes. I know yall want me to plus in 73 motivational quotes about how you are a boss, how you are a strong (Insert whatever you identify with…) woman, and how you need to create the life you want!! But I’m not going to. Although having mantras are not a bad idea… faith without work is DEAD. Some of the work includes sharing so your fellow woman does not feel alone…being REAL sometimes…not only sharing the highlight REEL (See what I did there? :::Eye Wink::) , and working on YOU at your own pace.

    Love you guys…whoever takes the time to read this…you are the best.

    xoxo
    -Steph

  • Luxe Shops

    3 Tips on how to be stress free on Black Friday!

    Hi Luxe Babes!

    So…it’s that time of year again! We are preparing for Thanksgiving, getting our homes in order, makeing grocery list and checking them twice! Your Guest will come over (Or you will be heading over to someone’s home) and you will eat and be merry! As the evening wraps up, you will wind down and then realize that the next day is Black Friday and YOU HAVE TO GO CHRISTMAS SHOPPING!!! Right? Well…not really.

    Times have changed. Years ago, I remember people standing in line at Retailors at 3am, freezing their but offs tring to purchase one of 3 $79.99 TV’s. There are some stores that still use the first come first serve method. It’s very antiquated and becoming rare. The truth is, Black Friday is already in Full effect and the Honey Baked Ham had not even grazed your lips yet!

    Bonus Tip off the Rip: Shop Discount Stores FIRST for less traffic!

    Now, If you still feel like it’s tradition to hit the streets at 5am but don’t Want to deal with the craziness at the stores, shop discount retailers FIRST, Like Marshalls, TJMaxx, Ross, Burlington and so on. Most of them don’t do Doorbusters or Sales, so people flock to them after they hit the regular department/ Big Box type stores. You get to shop in peace and will be back in bed snackin on a Turkey and Cranberry Sandwich before you know it!

     

    Tip #1: Take Advantage of Online Pre-Black Friday Sales

    I Know what your thinking, What if it is cheaper on Black Friday? I Get it. But the truth is, it might not be either. Black Friday is designed to lure you into the stores. There is a chance that that $79.99 TV might sell out very quickly. The concept is, most consumers will adopt a “Well, as long as I’m here…” attitude and take a look around the store anyway an end up making a purchase anyway. THAT’S THE POINT!! THEY GOT YOU SIS! 

     

    The Fix: Online Shop (In yo P.Js!)

    Make a cup of coffee or Tea…Check your email and subscribe to your Favorite Retailers Email updates (You can always unsubscribe afterwards…BUT who wants to miss a sale?). They will often have Pre-Black Friday Sales that are worth taking advantage of for One reason: AVAILABILITY OF PRODUCT! As a Plus-Size woman, I always fear of my size selling out because I was waiting till the last minute. So play our cards accordingly…if your size sells out on the regular…dont wait till some miraculous Black Friday deal comes out. Bonus Tip: Create/Log in to your accounts on the retailers site. Add Items that you are coveting to your shopping bag. Most retailers will save your cart. Check your cart often. When a Great Deal pops up, your cart will already be loaded and you can just apply your code and Check out! Remember, there are going to be thousands or even millions of customers on the site you will be prepared for site glitches and slowdowns. (That being said….the earlier you shop, the less site traffic you have to deal with!)

    Here are a Few Emails I got AS I WAS WRITING THIS BLOG POST!! HURRY! lol!! (Click Photos for Site Links!)







     

     

    Tip 2: Use Coupon Code Sites

    This might seem like a DUH moment, but SO MANY people don’t even know about places like DOSH,  Ebates,  and Retail Me Not ! There are SOOO many apps out there that can give you all the current coupon codes AND help you recieve cash back on your purchases! I will say that when you use these sites, you may have to apply a few coupon codes to get the best option. Ebates, if added to your internet toolbar, will auto apply all the codes and apply the one with the most savings (If any). 

    The Fix: Get to downloading Babe!

    Take a few minutes (NOW! Your already Late!!) to sign up and download some apps. Also check with your Banks and Credit card companies (Cash App included) to see if they have what I call store “Boosters” that help you earn cash back or get instant savings when you are shopping! I know the Cash App Card, Delta CU has some and AMEX has some awesome stores on their list! Be resourceful!

    Tip #3 Stop feeling Obligated!

    I am tapping into my own heart right now. I know that man of us feel obligated to take this time to purchase these “Things” at a heavy discount because otherwise, we couldn’t afford it. Well the reality, there are a lot of us who really cant afford to buy everyone a christmas gift, even if it is at a discount. Now, I myself tend to use this time of year to boost up my wardrobe for cold weather (Specially since I’ve gained weight!). I recommend really looking at your budget and seriously think about weather or not you can truly afford to spend money. You begin shopping for one person, then get guilty about not getting another person a gift…and so on. You are not doing yourself a favor buy using money you really cant spare or going into (Or further) into debt to “make someone happy”.

    The Fix: Zoom in on the reason for the Season

    I first suggest (Its a little too late now…) to plan for your Holiday gift giving. Create a Cash Sink Fund. A Sink Fund is specific Savings for an inevitable specific purchase. You know Christmas is on December 25th EVERY YEAR. You can bet on it! Create a budget and pay towards it early in the year. The Second thing I want you to do is take the amount you saved, create a Gift giving list and assign each person a specific value budget. This does not mean you have to spend every cent in this budget, but it allows you to control your spending. Add Gift Ideas to this budget so that you have options and don’t get overwhelmed. This goes for your kids as well. Now, if you just can’t spend a lot of money, give freshly baked goods, handmade Items, Service Coupons (Babysitting, Organizing, or another skill) or JUST GOOD OLE PLAIN OLD LOVE!! Don’t let anyone ever tell you your love is not enough. If it isn’t, this person simply does not need to be in your life. 

     

    The “Wrap” up! (See what I did there…)

    I hope these tips help you soothe your Black Friday whoas! Now, I get that if you follow me, you are looking for Style Advice and the go-to places to shop! That’s why I aim to show a variety of places to shop. BUT I wanted to make sure my readers know that we ALL have different budgets and that’s perfectly ok! I encourage you to dig deep…really deep. Offer the gift of Love to your family and friend. Call them more often. Schedule a few Holiday Coffee dates. Cook or Bake for them. Crochet a blanket…make a bracelet…Frame a special photo! Christmas is not about who gives the best physical gift. Its about feeling the warmth and love we feel from Family and Friends. 

    Special Note: This is also the season of Seasonal Depression…and as this phrase is starting to seem cliche, but PLEASE check on your Strong Friends! People need to feel loved…like they belong. R.I.P to all who took their lives this 2018…and prayers to the people they left behind.

    Till Next Time Luxe Babes,
    XOXO
    Stephanie