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Valentine’s day is less than a week away and you’re probably thinking what you should buy for your lover or yourself. Yes, that’s right, I said YOURSELF. Valentine’s Day is about love, so don’t forget that self love is very important. To me, it’s important that I spoil myself here and there. It’s nice to gift someone with the traditional chocolates and flowers but you can never go wrong with a new bag. Whether you are shopping for he or she, the Dagne Dover Landon Carryall is a must have! This bag comes in three sizes (small, medium and large) ,four colors, and is unisex.  It’s perfect for going to work, the gym, or a quick weekend trip. My favorite feature is that the bag is 100% neoprene fabric. The fabric is so high tech that you can wash it and dry it.  There are multiple compartments, one for your phone, laptop, and it comes with a mini pouch.

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Different sizes come with a different prices but the good thing is that all the bags are UNDER $200. Step out the Valentine’s day comfort zone and buy a bag without breaking the bank!

Photographed by : @underground_nyc 

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Two Piece Matching Set: Mousai Clothing

Boots: 4th and Reckless

Whenever I am confused about what to wear, I always try to stay calm and keep it neutral. When I mean neutral, I mean, I tend to stray towards the neutral colors in my closet, like ivory, mocha, olive, sand, and taupe. Once in a while, we all have those moments where we ask ourselves ” What the heck am I am going to wear today”? That is why I have a section in my closet dedicated to neutral colored clothing. For those indecisive days of not knowing what to wear to work, the doctors office, or to class, remember that neutral tones are easy to pair with denim, khakis, or slacks. Another plus for neutral colors is that they look good on a number of skin tones, but you have to figure out what neutral colors look best on you. Once you’ve learned which colors work best for you, you are one step closer to avoiding those indecisive wardrobe days.

When it comes down to making daily life choices, it’s important to stay POSITIVELY NEUTRAL. Every day we are placed in different situations, no matter if it’s positive or negative. The situation can only benefit you, if you are willing to react in a neutral manner. I know it sounds easier said then done, but it takes practice, just like many things in life.  When I say “react neutral”, I don’t mean not to react all, but I mean to accept the circumstance and overcome them. In positive situations, remember to have humility and be thankful, but you must do the same in negative situations as well. When things don’t go your way, it’s easy to end up isolating yourself, and waste time thinking  about things that will not have a long term affect on your life. The best things to do is quickly dissect the situation, accept it, learn from it, and MOVE ON! Trust your gut and have faith in your choices. Over time, you must program your mind to accept your challenges and highlights, so that you are able to move forward.

xoxo

IVY COCO

Photographed by Durell Hospedale

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As humans, we all take part in the habit of overthinking. No matter if situations are big or small, it’s easy to overanalyze them. Overthinking only leads to one thing, STRESS, and stress doesn’t go with any of my outfits. I try my hardest to refrain from anxiety and stress, but sometimes it pops up here and there. In middle school, I had the worst anxiety that often led me to stress out about little things like test/quizzes, public speaking, and meeting new people. My anaxiety was so bad, my Mom had to give me stress ball. A stress ball is made out of a squishy foam texture, and when I felt nervous, stressed, or anxious, I would squeeze it to reduce my anxiety. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of high school where I finally began to shed some skin and blossom into a young lady who was aware of all the things she should accomplish. Once I let go of stressing over things that had no control over me, I realized that I control me and my emotions.

How we feel shows in the type of outfits we choose to wear. When I’m not feeling well, I know I don’t dress to the best of my ability. Stress and anxiety doesn’t match my outfit nor style. I  stay away from stress because, number one, it is unhealthy for the heart and body, and number two, who likes the feeling of being down and out? I know that when I wake up, I feel too blessed to be stressed. When you step into the right attitude it’s so much easier to step into the right outfit.

Kisses,

Ivy Coco

Outfit Details:

Top, Pant, & Boot: Zara

Hair styled by : Carla Clarkson

Photographed by : Nico Rinaldo

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Shirt, Shorts & Jacket: Thrifted

Bandana: My local dollar store

Boots: Top Shop

Whether you believe it or not, we all have our own signature statement. Some have signature hair, a signature smell, or a signature look. These are all things that make a statement about who we are. Our signatures makes us standout and show that we are unique in our own way. Your signature statement doesn’t have to stay the same throughout your entire life. As humans, we are always evolving. We aren’t expected to stay the same, so embrace your change. Whenever I have an urge to try or do something new, I make sure I write it down! I guess you can say that I am starting my bucket list early, lol. Before I start checking things off my big bucket list, I am doing small things that can make a statement during my every day life. For example, a simple smile can actually make a HUGE statement. I’ve been seeing the whole “resting B*t$& face” craze on social media, and I definitely don’t want to have that facial expression. It’s really unattractive when you are attracted to someone that has a bad attitude or facial expression. I have to catch myself here and there, because sometimes my face looks like I’ve smelled some terrible cheese, but I’m actually perfectly fine. How you express your emotions make a statement about who you are.

When I am not trying to improve on myself, I am usually trying to figure out how I can make a statement within my wardrobe. Usually when it comes to outfits, you can make a statement with jewelry or other accessories, but I have never been a big jewelry person. A trending look that I have been loving, that is great on both men and women, is wearing a bandana. A bandana is fun to wear in place of a necklace. It is easy and simple to wear during the spring and summer time. Also, bandanas come in a variety of colors and are very inexpensive. They can be bought at your local thrift store or dollar store (that’s where I bought mine). It can be worn so many way and it allows you to spice up your wardrobe. You don’t have to do too much to make a statement. Sometimes the little things can have the greatest impact.

Different ways to rock a bandana: 

From: SHUT UP I LOVE THAT SHIRT ON YOU

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Peace,

Ivy Coco

Photographer : Rikki Wright ( Instagram: @foreverrikk )

Rikki is an amazing photographer than knows how to capture emotion. I love her way of direction and styling. She has such a blithe spirit and she made me feel very comfortable when shooting.

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Sunglasses: Dior

Shirt: H&M

Backpack: Zara

Belt: Vintage

Jeans: Asos.com

Boots: Topshop.com

   Lately, I feel it’s the Baby Boom all over again. Meaning, so many of my friends and family members are having babies. I love babies, they are so beautiful that they have the magic ability to change peoples perspective on life. They grow unseen and already you are deeply in love with them! And when they are born, you’d die for them.  That’s magic.

  I remember when my youngest cousin was born and in a blink of an eye he was walking, talking, growing teeth yelling “NOOOO!!!!”. His growth has been so rapid but an amazing journey for me to watch. I pay close attention to how he responds to people, how he talks, and how he walks. Walking was my cousin’s first step into independence, he might not know that, but I do. He used balance, control, and strength to take his first step, which are real life skills.

    In life, we are always wanting to start something new and fresh, but sometimes taking the first step is the hardest. Sometimes we are afraid to fail, scared to see the challenges we might be faced with, and in the back of our head we have that little voice asking ” Is it really worth it ? “. When that little voice starts, you have to tell yourself “Hell YEAH! its worth it”. Do not be afraid of the obstacles you might face in your journey because it’s only a test. If you are starting a new business venture, setting a new goal, or just wanting to press restart on life, it’s so important to remember a few things when taking the first step:

  1. DON’T WAIT– Whatever you choose to start, make sure you are passionate about it, but do not wait until the “perfect time”. Waiting turns into procrastination and it postpones you from making things happen. Not everything is going to be perfect because you’re always thinking and changing. Your thoughts from yesterday might differ from today, so that “perfect time” can only happen when you tell yourself it will happen.

2. AGREE WITH YOURSELF– Everyone is not going to be in agreement with what you are doing. People with always disagree with your movement, but make sure you are in agreement with yourself. If you are waiting to come to a consensus with others, that means your oppositions and opposers are having control over you.

3. HAVE A GREAT ATTITUDE– Make sure whatever you are doing makes you happy. Even when hard times come your way, you have to stay positive. If you’re happy doing what you love, then it is worth fighting for. Positivity will carry you through your challenges.

Now that I have seen my baby cousin take his first step, he is in cruise control. He hops from A to B like its nothing. He can shuffle, climb, and run with ease, all because he was strong enough to take that first step. I’m pretty sure he fell a few times and will fall some more, but my little man shows me his independence by getting back up again. He has the ability to take my hand and take me on a run.

That first step followed promptly by a fall, boosted his confidence in being able to connect with people and try again. Don’t be afraid to take that 1st step, because once you actually do it, you’ll realize that the little voice in the back of your head will start to say ” You got this! That wasn’t too bad “.

Xoxo,

IvyCoco

Photos taken by Erick Robinson: IG @imerickrobinson