Made U Look: Fall, Courtesy of H&M

H&M is one of my mandatory stops every time I hit the mall.  What I personally love about H&M is it’s ability to make being stylish and trendy affordable and not overwhelming and pretentious.  Their fall collection is complete with traditional cozy sweaters and military style jackets that will keep any gal cute and maybe even a lil’ warm.  Here’s some highlights:

Imitation Leather Skirt

An affordable version of the Louis Vuitton Leather skirt that I fell in love with at the end of summer. At only $24.99 it’s a steal and comes in my trademark color, grey.

Imitation Leather Pilot Jacket

A $24.99 edgy combination of sexy and sleek.

Double Breasted Military Style Coat

A military look that I don’t think I’ll dread seeing in my closet in 2011. At $49.99 it’s available in dark grey, black, and if you really want to make a statement, bright red.  Lil’ Red riding Hood would be one stylish bitch.

Double Breasted Jacket

What can I say? I’m a fan of the double breast, especially at $39.99 and available in grey and black.

Hounds tooth Jacket

Hounds tooth that would make Keri Hilson proud, and at $39.99 it’s “turnin me on.”

Wicked Wall Street

So remember the scene in “Home Alone” when Kevin McCallister gets separated from his family in the airport and goes to follow a man who is wearing a coat that is similar to his father’s?  I LOVED that coat.  It reminds me of Wall Street almost instantly and drips sophistication.  Now you can afford something similar without having to get paid like a broker.

College Co-Ed

I tried on this jacket in the store and for some reason it instantly reminded me of walking to the library completely across campus for frozen coffee before class.  Not the warmest thing in the world, but perfect for fall.  At $24.99, where do I sign?

Belted Poncho

H&M Poncho

Sexy, warm, camel.  Need I say more?

Chiffon Dress

Floral Chiffon Dress

If you love ruffles as much as I do, then you’ll love these delicate numbers at $14.99

The bad news:  If you’re a United States Citizen, you cannot shop online at H&M just yet. The good news: H&M is located in most major malls throughout the country, but if you want to window shop in the meantime visit http://www.hm.com/

Happy shopping!

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The X-Files: Tips on Dealing with the Person Formerly Known as Your Partner

The other day a random Facebook friend request from an ex’s sibling got me thinking about the way I’ve chosen to deal (or not deal) with my ex boyfriends. Surprisingly, I’ve reached a point where I can look a many of them and not want them to writhe and and wince in extreme torment.  Others, leave me wondering how the hell any relationship ever worked to begin with. And some of the ways have guided me into a catharsis that’s helped me realize that a harmonious connection can exist between two people, although a romantic connection may have failed previously.  Here’s a few things I’ve learned:

  • It’s true: Your ex is your ex for a reason. A random AIM encounter or a chance encounter in a Starbucks can sometimes leave you wondering why you ever left. You giggle nervously over Mocha chinos reminiscing about all of the “good times”: That weekend when you were snowed in and watched Napoleon Dynamite five times straight; the time he surprised you with roses at your job…in the rain.  But wait, Napoleon Dynamite had nothing on the XXX feature you came across starring him (and co-starring your bestie).  And weren’t those roses an apology for making you cry in the middle of Denny’s?  Of course there were plenty of good times, but don’t forget the bad ones. And being as though he’s your ex, they probably outnumbered the good one’s anyway.
  • Sometimes you really can’t (and shouldn’t) be friends. Not even Facebook friends. And that’s not necessarily anyone’s fault. Trey Songz definitely was speaking from experience. People grow apart and personalities clash and sometimes there is nothing you can do about it: not then, not now.  During this process, things can get intense.  Hurt feelings and bruised egos are left shattered in the aftermath and often you can’t get back to that place you once were. In this case, a friendship may not possible. If a partner is bringing out the worst in you or you feel the relationship leaves you unstable and out of control, it’s probably best that you just go back to being strangers.
  • Time heals all wounds. Well no, not really. Some of those wounds actually leave pretty nasty scars. What time can do is give you an opportunity for growth. Albert Einstein once said that a problem cannot be solved by the same mind which created it. Time can transform your state of mind and adjust your outlook on the situation. So many people break up and make the mistake of thinking they can instantly be super besties, but this almost never works out. You either end up right back in the relationship or in a state of purgatory repeating the same behaviors that preceded the breakup. In my experience, the nastiest of breakups require time away to reflect on the relationship objectively.
  • Ex sex is the best sex. It’s also the messiest. For those of us who find it hard to draw the line between love and lust, sex with the ex isn’t the greatest idea.   With emotions still raw and your judgment unstable, sex does nothing but complicate and already difficult situation. If you’re not going to close all communication, at least close your legs.
  • Remember, Release, Reflect. Don’t take that trip down memory lane simply to throw your ex under the bus riding next to you without evaluating if and how you contributed to the relationship’s demise.  It’s easy to complain about how he “did you wrong” (just ask Keyshia Cole, Monica or Fantasia) but what’s hard is admitting that maybe you weren’t on your A game either.  The best gift you can give to any potential suitors is a new and improved you who has worked to be a better partner than you once were.  Understand that your ex could very well be a good person, just not for you.   You’ll never move forward if you’re still bitter about the past.
  • Don’t say you do, if you really don’t. Forgive and forget that is.  If you don’t know by now, forgiveness is more about you than the other person.  Friendship can exist when a relationship has turned sour, but you need to have closure to old drama. The worst thing you can do is throw all that baggage on the back of the next man.  Get over it.  If you can’t please refer to “Sometimes You Really Can’t (and shouldn’t be) Friends.”

Lastly, I always say the quickest way to see if you are truly over an ex is to perform the “Pit Test”. If you can see your ex happy in another relationship and it doesn’t feel like the pit of your stomach is caving in, then you’re probably over them.  Remember to have respect for the person you are currently with; your ex shouldn’t be a bigger issue in the relationship than your love and respect for each other. Case closed.

Five Ways to Tell a Friendship has Turned Toxic

 

 

We’ve all been there.  At a time when once you were delighted to see a certain someone’s name light up your home screen, you find yourself suddenly hitting the “Ignore” button.  And while you used to anticipate the exchange of gossip and giggles, you are now filled with dread at the expectation of drama.  If this is you, your friendship is probably making you sick.  Here are five good ways to tell if it’s turned toxic:

5.) The Boyfriend has more say in your friendship than you do:  Remember those plans that you and your friend had for the movies?  Well you’re waiting outside of the AMC, Idris Elba has been on the screen shirtless for twenty minutes, and your friend is nowhere to be found.  You just got flaked on.  And worse, it’s because she’s occupied with her man. Being the understanding friend that you are, you’re sympathetic to her newfound infatuation.  We all get a little distracted when some much-needed testosterone enters our lives, but that’s no excuse to be inconsiderate.  If a friend is constantly giving you the shaft, so she can get some shaft, then it might be time to chuck up your deuces.  The least you can get is a text message to cancel, but part of being a good friend is balancing your time between your man and your girls.

4.) It Becomes Stunted: It’s great to have a routine: Drinks at the local dive bar on Friday nights, shopping for stilettos the last Sunday of every month, or even the very necessary weekly mani/pedi.  But any healthy relationship be it platonic or romantic is one of growth.  Many friendships end because the people involved end up growing apart.  The best friendships can survive dramatic changes, long distances and even personal revelations.  It’s not always about agreeing with each other’s decisions, but supporting one another along the way.  Lastly both people have to be willing to take chances and be open-minded.  If you find that a friend just isn’t willing to even consider trying anything new, or supporting your desire to do so, it may be a sign to leave them behind.

3.) It’s Completely Based on Competition:  Anything you can do, she can do better…or at least she has to try.  If you aim to be manager of the department, she’ll try to be president of the board.  You really like that new Christian Dior silk wool dress, she’s going to buy the whole fall collection.  This is one of my personal fav’s.  I happen to think that friendships should be completely null and void of competition.  Friendly rivalries usually turn into anything but. If your friend is constantly occupied with outshining you, you may need to find a different cast member.  There’s room for everyone in the spotlight, and any self-assured women can confidently support her girl’s moment in the sun.  Being constantly concerned with competition eliminates the authenticity of the friendship.  I remember once being afraid to share any of my accomplishments or even purchases because I knew my friend would run off and try to find a way to top me.  Once again friendship is something of equal balance.  It’s not a Broadway show and there are no fans or superstars.

2.) It Becomes Inconvenient for You: It’s 2 AM and you have to be up by 7:30 AM to conquer a day of meetings, presentations all tied up by an evening spinning class at the gym.  But your friend just found some naked pictures in her man’s cell phone and they are not of her.  Even better, they’re of his best friend, Montell.  She needs to vent; you need to sleep.  But if this is an occassional occurrence, this is not what I’m referring to.  A good friend realizes that you have a life too, and that the world will not come spinning to a fiery crash although her world may be chaos. If you have a friend that outright demands you to drop everything to rescue her, then maybe it’s time she figure out how to save herself.

1.) You Can’t Be Yourself: Anyone who knows me, knows that sugar coating and shooting the shit isn’t a specialty of mine.  I have pretty scathing tongue, but usually the best of intentions.  We all have something whether it be a sharp tongue, a lazy streak, or an insanely annoying penchant for perverted jokes.  But any friend who is willing to make a commitment should know what they are signing up for.  If you find yourself making changes to your core personality just to have someone to hang out with you either need to re-evaluate yourself, or find someone who enjoys dirty jokes right along with you.  A true friend acknowledges,embraces and respects you…exactly the way you are.

Hindsight (Version 2)

I feel like I’m trying to find a million days

A million ways

But really I’m just running out of time

And I’m always trying to find the words

To songs I’ve never heard

But they seem to always play inside my mind

And if hindsight is 20/20

Then I must being going blind

But the past is clear upon my ears

Like snowfall in summertime

My whole life written in Latin…in between the lines

On parchment paper past its prime

Where’s my butter brick road

If my version’s in black and white

Can we for just one night  play pretend

and dare to be something we’ve never been

And I remember

The last time it was December

And I thought that I would never

bleed like that again

I bet you didn’t know

The best ones leave a burn

and most of what I’ve learned

Lies buried beneath the snow