The Sundress & My 10 Key Summer Essentials

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Hi there! I couldn’t wait for summer but now I’m melting from all this heat and humidity. It’s been over 90 degrees every day for the past week. It makes it impossible to take pictures in this heat. I’m sweating bullets by the time I take the first picture… LOL!  I’m surprised I don’t look like I lathered up in baby oil in these pictures.

I did some basic twists in my hair this weekend because I didn’t want to style my fro. It’s nothing fancy, I just added the braid hair so I could achieve a different look, which I thought looked cute pinned up. I really love the outcome because it’s easy and I can take it out after a few days. I like the look of  braids but I can’t deal with the headache that comes with getting them put in. I don’t like sitting for hours and my head is too sensitive so I can’t see myself getting my hair done professionally in any braided style. I figure if I do it myself, It won’t be too tight and I can remove them for wash day.

 

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I’m pretty basic in the summer, I wear a lot of dresses because I can slip them on and off with ease. I go for light weight fabrics, cotton blends, and colors that compliment my skin tone. This dress is from Sears, it was $15, the belt is thrifted and the shoes are my favorite neutral colored pumps that I purchased at Target a few months ago. What is your favorite outfit style for the summer?

I wanted to share my list of 10 key pieces that we should all have in our wardrobe for summer. I think these pieces help build a fashionable wardrobe and keeps you cool during the humid days of summer.

 

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Here are my key pieces!

  • Nude/neutral color sandals or footwear. Since we tend to wear more colorful outfits during the summer I think nude footwear makes it easy to mix & match, color block, and really enjoy bold colors without worrying about buying multiple pairs of shoes.
  • The Sundress. The name says it all “sundress” it’s hot and sunny and what better way to show off your feminine side than while wearing a cute sundress. I own all kinds of dresses, with various prints, colors, and styles. I honestly can’t get enough of them. I wear them with sandals, pumps, flip flops, and sneakers…they are perfect for this season.
  • Cute light weight accessories. I usually fine bangles that are either made from wood or metal works really well with the outfit selections for the season. I also go for small stylish earrings and necklacesI love bold jewelry but I don’t think it’s necessary for the weather, it gets so hot that I’m pouring sweat from every where and I just get annoyed with the overly chunky jewelry. I think light weight and smaller jewelry helps dress up your outfit without the extra fuss. 
  • Summer Sunnies. Most retailers offer a nice variety of shades in different styles. I personally love aviator styles, that come with or without the mirror lens. I think the style fits the shape of my face the best. I would suggest finding frames that fit the shape of your face.
  • Floppy hat. The best head accessory for summer! Great for the beach or while wearing a fabulous sundress. I don’t have any floppy hats currently but I’m looking to buy one real soon.
  • Classy clutch. Because lugging around a large heavy tote makes me sweat even more! I use a clutch, wristlet, or smaller bag when it’s hot. I try not to carry around too much stuff, just my drivers licence, lip gloss, and credit card.
  • stylish shorts. Shorts and summer go hand in hand. I wear rompers, denim shorts, all types of prints and patterns, shorts are a must have, just make sure the cut and length works for your body type.
  • Feel good swimsuit. You can go one piece or two piece. I personally love the one piece. I did find a few two piece styles that I will also be rocking this summer. I look for high waisted styles in the two piece to cover my stomach pooch and I’m drawn to bright colors and pretty prints.
  • Beach essentials. Straw bags, sun block, flip flops, beach towel, and reading material. These are all needed for a day at the beach or pool. I want to be comfortable and relaxed the entire time I’m there soaking in the sun.
  • Graphic T’s. They are bold, artsy, and just plain fun to rock for the summer.Throw them on with your favorite shorts and your ready to conqueror the day.  I buy T’s that say what’s on my mind and express how I feel.

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Did I forget anything? I probably did, feel free to add on or tweek the list!

 

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Dress: Sears buy it here

Belt: Thrifted

Shoes: Target, Old buy similar here

Xo,

 

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Thrifted Mini Red Dress & Lace Up Heels

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Hey guys! It’s hump day…I love saying that…Lol. I wanted to share my thrifted $5 dress from Goodwill. Ladies don’t sleep on thrift stores. I know we all want the latest clothing and accessories out there but if you have to break the bank to buy it, then it just isn’t worth it…at least it isn’t to me.

I learned thrifting from my mother, I come from a immigrant family and when she arrived in the US, she had little to nothing to support her six children. She started doing house keeping for wealthy families, then on to nursing school and she thrifts more than ever these days. My mother always told us that some of the best quality items were in thrift stores. She would say they don’t make good furniture and linens like they use to and I couldn’t agree more.

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I thrift because it’s fun! I usually go with the intentions of buying one or two items and walk out with several bags. I can’t go with anyone but my mother, it takes us forever to comb through the racks and I have to focus. When my son comes along he complains the entire time.

What I enjoy the most is finding something that I can dress up or down and make it look like it never came out a thrift store, that’s the key to thrifting. I buy household items all the time and paint, sand, and redecorate them with my own personal touch.

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I thought the dress was sexy. I love red and skater dresses fit my pear shaped figure. It shows lots of legs and looks really good with these strappy shoes. What do you think? Do you thrift?

I thought this look would be great for date night. It’s not too much and you can throw on a belt and a few different types of accessories and make it your own. Enjoy the pictures and thanks as always for stopping by!

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Dress: Thrifted see similar here

Choker; Buy it here

Shoes: Buy it here

xo,

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White Mini Dress & Gladiator Sandals

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I believe in happiness…true happiness..we search for it all our lives and want it all the time because it’s hard to come by. I remember thinking that I would never be happy again. I was sick, fatigue, and depressed during most of treatment, It was difficult to even imagine a future.  I use to think what is the point of planning for something down the line when down the line may never come for me. When your younger in age and newly diagnosed, everyone says your just so young to have cancer, breast cancer in particular. It was once considered a disease for older women. I’ve met women in their 20’s and 30’s who fight this disease everyday. We are a close community of women that have a common goal…beat cancer into remission!

As I stated in my previous post this month is my cancerversary..2 years cancer free. I hope to stay in remission forever. I can’t imagine a recurrence, I don’t know that I would be as strong as the first time around. This disease is nothing you can prepare for, their is no manual, no two cancers are the same, and no two individuals cope with the disease and treatment the same.  I pray for my health all the time, something we all take for granted.

 

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I never celebrated my 1 year cancerversary. I honestly thought I would totally jinx myself. The fear was still there, the horror from the whole ordeal was too fresh in my mind.This year I’ve been working real hard on building myself up, I’ve been focusing on what brings me happiness.  I would stay in bad relationships because I focused more on someone else happiness. Now I can walk away and not feel any level of guilt. It’s not that I don’t care about them, it’s just that I care about me more! What steps are you taking to find your happiness?

My first step was to start doing things that I enjoy doing, even if no one else wants to do it with you. I enjoy blogging…so I blog! I like shopping and since I have a limited budget, I thrift and combine my thrifted finds with accessories and maybe one new item. For example, the dress I’m wearing was less than $22…I was shocked it fit, the only issue is the lining under it is too short, I will work on getting it properly lined inside. I love the lace design, it makes the dress. The gladiator sandals are new but with in my budget. I don’t think you need to shop all the time. I recycle my outfits over and over again.

I made my own floral crown…I really need to do a DIY section cause I’m always making stuff. I love art and that is another passion that I plan on incorporating into my blog. I hope you all enjoy the pictures and have a great weekend!!

 

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Dress: Buy it here /see similar here

Sandals: buy it here

floral crown: DIY here

Bag: See similar here

Accessories: Old from my jewelry line

Xo,

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Regal Leopard Print Maxi Dress

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Hi beauties…Happy Monday! I feel so blessed because every time I think about where I was 2 years ago, I have to give God thanks.  I have to thank him for bringing me through the storm! I know that where I am today has everything to do with his grace and mercy. I want to celebrate life because this month is my 2 year cancerversary! In the cancer world we celebrate every milestone…small and large because we know how quickly that can all change.

I feel like jumping for joy and crying uncontrollably at the same time. It has been a very long fight. I pray that I remain in remission forever. I pray that my sisters and brothers fighting this disease every single day find comfort and support the way I did through friends and family. I’m living proof that you can bounce back and I’m proof that cancer does not dictate my life! What are you currently celebrating?
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Speaking of celebrations, I attended ” The Beautiful Business Woman Brunch” this weekend..any excuse to drink mimosas…LOL! It was another women supporting women in business gathering and it was so worth it to go and meet other women like myself. One of the key points made by Divas With A Purpose was learning to celebrate yourself and your own accomplishments. She also talked about how celebrating each other is a win win for everyone. I just love the path that I’m on now, I’ve always had my own hustle but this event reminded me why networking and building new relationships is key to growing your business.

I’m excited to announce the return of my accessories. Anyone that knows me knows that I started blogging as a way to promote my accessories business. I later incorporated my blogging, I’m returning back to selling fabulous accessories because I do it so well.  Stay tuned for the return of trunk shows and other affordable accessories!

 

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Dress: Buy it here

Shoes: Buy it here

Belt: Thrifted

Headband: Walmart see similar here

Love,

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Print Dress & Pumps or sandals?

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I swear I purchased a dress just like this from H&M last spring with a different print. H&M has some of the best prints and patterns in their clothing line. The dress is lined, fits really well and I think the quality is great for the price. I’ve been looking for more dresses to add to my wardrobe, most of what I have doesn’t fit anymore since my weight gain.

I’ve always been a girly girl, I remember my mother always bought me dresses with matching shoes and hair ribbons, dresses make me happy! They make me feel pretty and feminine.I love the length of this dress, it sits perfectly just above the knee. I decided to wear a belt but you don’t need to wear one, the fit is that awesome.

 

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Since the dress has a busy print, I thought a neutral color shoe would work best. You can either go sexy with a pair of pumps or casual with a pair of nude sandals. Either pair of shoes work really well, for work I would wear the sandals, I would save the pumps for date night. My fringe bag goes everywhere so expect to see more posts featuring it. Which shoe would you wear?

Enjoy the pictures…leave some feedback…have a wonderful work week!

 

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Dress: H&M

Pumps: Target

Belt: Thrifted see similar here

Sandals: Old see similar here

shades: Old see similar here

XO

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Denim & Sheer embroidered Top

Hi everyone! “It’s Michelle My Belle”…also know as Roxy, Shelly, and a few other nick names. I’m working on deciding what direction I want to take my blog in. It started out as a way to advertise for my accessories, then later turned into a fashion blog, it worked for a while because the two went hand in hand but I felt it was time to make some changes. I still sell my jewelry but it’s not my main focus anymore so I changed the name of the blog and my other social media platforms.

I was not in the mood to create another blog from scratch, blogging is difficult enough and it’s taken years to get to this point. My actual name is “Michelle” and I thought it would be nice to tie my name into the blog title. I figure since so much of what I write about has to do with me personally it just made sense…what do you think?  Once I figure out all the technicalities, I think a blog revamp would be a great start for my future goals.

I feel like I’m warming up to these outfit of the day posts. The whole concept is starting to come back to me LOL! At first everything was so awkward posing for the camera but I think I’m getting closer to my comfort level. It must be the 8 pounds I lost..wooohooo!! Now that I eat differently I realize just how much I was over consuming. I’m not on any special diet, I’ve just decided to pay better attention to how much and how often I eat.  It was really important for me to make these lifestyle changes.

The beauty of living in the south is that it’s only March but the weather is perfection! It was gorgeous today, sunny, light breeze, with flowers popping up every where. Signs that spring is just around the corner. I fell in love with this sheer embroidered top that I found at Ross Dress for Less it was $14 and I had to have it. It’s light, flowy, and feminine. I paired it with a white cami and some basic blue jeans.

I purchased the shoes and bag at Marshalls because I’m basically addicted to that store. I don’t think I ever walk out empty handed. I think they have the cutest selection of accessories for reasonable prices. The shoes are so comfortable and the bag has nice detailing on the front.

Enjoy the pictures and thank you for visiting!
XoXo
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Jeans: JCPenny
Bag & shoes: Marshalls
Blouse: Ross Dress for Less
 
 

 

Self Love

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I had reached some really low points emotionally while battling ‘breast cancer’ this past year. The very thought that cancer had invaded my body was enough to turn my world upside down. I felt hopeless…lost….confused and deeply hurt. I initially cried a lot, stopped eating, and closed myself off from the rest of the world. How could anyone ever look at me the same? Why did I have to get cancer? When you’re a woman you worry about everything, especially physical (beauty) or your appearance in general ….our society is built on it. After losing all my hair during chemo, then both my breast after bilateral surgery, I had to learn to LOVE and ACCEPT the new me. 


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Xo 

 

Moving on to Tomorrow

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It’s just hours before we begin a new year and I wanted to THANK all of you for taking this journey with me. Sure it’s been a rough year but I feel so LOVED!  I’ve opened up and revealed more than I ever thought I would to such a large audience of people, some of whom I have never met. I don’t know if sharing my story has made a difference for all of you but I know for sure it has touched some of you. I know that someone has gotten a mammogram, done a self breast exam or followed through with making an appointment to take care of their health in general and that says a lot. THANK YOU all for making this year less of a roller coaster ride, I couldn’t be more grateful for the support.
My New Year Goal is to continue the fight against ‘cancer’ even while it’s in remission it’s important to never take your health for granted. I’ll be doing everything in my power to stay as healthy as possible. I already feel STRONGER than ever, more determined and accomplished.
HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you in advance!
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XOXO
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Beautiful Scars

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“Turning the marks of our pain into beautiful scars.” –Song lyrics by Steven C. Chapman

Look who has hair!!! It’s baby soft and a completely different texture from what I had before. Guess we’ll see how long it lasts. It’s growing back right on time because it is quite chilly in the south.  

I’ve completed surgery for my bilateral mastectomy, I’m healing fairly well and looking forward to the joy the holiday season brings. Thank you all for checking in on me, you guys are amazing and I appreciate the LOVE! I’ve surprised myself with the level of calm I’ve had with removing both breasts, I actually felt more emotion over losing my hair than my breast…shocking…I know. Especially since the physical and emotional scars are adding up. I don’t know that I’ve ever considered any of my scars beautiful but lately I’ve come to see them in a different light. My scars are a testimony to my journey, they tell a story about a woman who refused to give in to cancer. I think this disease has forced me to see another side of myself, a stronger, kick-ass side, that I can’t really explain but I’m happy I discovered it because fighting cancer is no walk in the park.

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The days leading up to surgery were intense. It was kind of like when I was pregnant with my son. A few days before giving birth, I had that ‘nesting’ feeling. I had so much anxiety, I cleaned and prepared for every little possible hiccup. The only obvious difference was his birth was joyous…mastectomies are NOT. My mother naturally cleared her schedule to be with me for surgery and I instantly felt relieved. It also helped that I’ve stopped working until I’ve fully recovered from surgery. I was able to focus on healing for once, besides it’s not like I could drive myself to the office anyways. I had the canon ball drains and wires hanging all over my body. I felt like a puppet and could not wait to have them removed. It was difficult to sleep and so freaking uncomfortable with the drains in. I left the hospital the day following my surgery. I had to get clearance from both the surgeon and oncologist. I thought I was going to be in so much pain but I wasn’t and I wanted to go home. I’ll admit that I didn’t feel like dancing but I haven’t needed the pain meds the surgeon prescribed. At one point, after surgery, I experienced a brief black out, after feeling a little light headed. I fell, luckily didn’t hit my head on anything, regained consciousness and had to go to the emergency room just to make sure nothing more serious wasn’t going on inside my body. It turned out to be nothing serious but made me realize just how fragile this disease had made me. It’s of course the holiday season, I want to decorate and be festive but I had to be extra cautious with the drains, they made me feel so old. It was a good thing its cold outside so I could wear layers to disguise them when I have to head out to take care of errands. I have not gotten use to being home all day, I’ve worked so much over the years, I’m not sure how to just slow down… sooooo I’m working from home, which keeps me busy. After about two weeks following surgery I was finally able to drive my car. I’m still restricted by the amount of physical activity I can do but I’m happy to be out and about on my own again.

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After I heal from surgery, I’ll have to undergo radiation and then more surgery for reconstruction. I have so much respect for the many women who have lived with cancer for years and continue to fight this disease every day. Thank God for providing me with such an amazing support system! My mother has made so many trips back and forth from Connecticut to S. Carolina to be there for me and I love her so much for it! She’s a rock, my rock. The days when I feel weak, she provides a level of strength that can only be admired…I’m beyond grateful to have her in my life.

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Nurse Navigator “Dottie” she’s amazing!
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My drains

I almost forgot to mention that the day before surgery, I got a call from my surgeon’s office telling me that my insurance would not cover a bilateral surgery. They were only willing to pay for a unilateral mastectomy. The unaffected breast that I opted to have removed is considered healthy so they didn’t feel it was necessary to remove it. I understood that removing it doesn’t extend my life, it doesn’t even prevent a recurrence, so why remove it? I considered it ‘preventative’ it had so much calcification in it. I also never did genetic testing so I don’t know for sure if  I have the BRCA gene but it’s one less thing I want to be monitored for or worry about each time they run scans. Plus someone wanted to raise my blood pressure because why else would I be getting that kind of update the day before major surgery. Let’s just say I politely gave a few people a piece of my mind. I had to pay out of pocket for the other breast to be removed as well. Most people don’t just get in line to remove their boobies unless they’re hoping to avoid the miserable routine mammograms and testing that would be recommended if I kept the so called healthy breast.

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feeling more & more like the old me 😉
I don’t know that anyone can ever prepare themselves emotionally for a roller coaster ride like the one I’ve been on these past 7 months. I think back to last year around this time, I was preparing to start another chapter in my life by relocating. I was so excited and ready for change. If only we had crystal balls, that alerted us about future bumps in the road. I would have ‘detoured’ or chosen an alternate route because CANCER SUCKS!! It robs us of so much and when you think you’re in the clear, it can come back with a vengeance!!  I’ve remained optimistic despite the over whelming urge to break down and cry. It’s hard to make anyone understand my pain. The sad truth is many people will die and it’s heart breaking to think that so many lives will be destroyed by the disease. We need a cure, research has come a long way but there is still a lot of ground to cover.
I hope you all are having a great time with family and friends…be thankful…love and cherish each other 😉
XOXO

Returning To YouTube…

Hi Guys! I’m taking another stab at YouTube. It’s been two years since I tried it for the first time and I thought it was time to do a new video. I’ll be utilizing my YouTube channel a lot more for OOTD features, health and beauty, personal stories etc. Please show support by Subbing and leaving a comment under each video, I would really appreciate it. Thanks for the continued support & XOXO.

TTFN

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