How to gain confidence in 10 days…

We live in a world where a bare busom can “break the internet” and in order to “see” models you don’t have to buy a magazine – It’s at the tip of your fingers – scrolling down on your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram feed. We live in a world where just about everything can be accessed instantly by the click of a button. Men and women automatically know how to describe the “perfect” body.  Instant gratification seems to be of the utmost importance and maybe it’s also the reason why you came across this post – you want to gain confidence in just 10 days. Well, my love, read on because I really wanted your attention. 

This blog is my safe space. It’s the place where I can be as brutally honest with myself and share that honesty with others. Some might not call me an “expert” on these topics, but I am here to offer my experiences and hopefully, offer a good tip or two in the process.

This post came from so many conversations I’ve had in the past few weeks and thoughts I’ve always pondered over for years.

Self-esteem & true confidence.

Simple words that have an insane amount of meaning. Now, if I were to ask you to describe yourself as having low or high esteem, which word would you choose?

I haven’t always been 100% comfortable in my own skin. It has taken a lot of time and a lot of self reflection to accept and LOVE the person I am, flaws and all. My body, my weight, my hair all have changed over the years and they continue to change. My jean size has always fluctuated but I’ve never been a size 1 or 2.. I’m a pretty curvy girl especially in regards to my height. If we are being technical, I’ve been told by the doctors that I was “overweight” in proportion to my height and I made sure to take that serious.

Let me take you back to an experience I had in High School when my body really began changing. It was a time when I was gaining a lot of weight, especially around my hips and waist. I was made fun of and told that I had to lose weight because I was going to become “too voluptuous”. My big lips were always the topic of conversation and my short height was always on display. I remember crying one day to my mother about all of this, and I will never forget what she told me. She said that when she was my age, she was ridiculed in El Salvador for being too skinny. I could not believe it. As my mother informed me, a size 0 wasn’t something to be proud of in my culture (Latin American), but when she came to the United States, it was the complete opposite. She thought about how American culture glorifies the skinny girl and diminishes the curvy girl. She proceeded to tell me that depending on where I would go and who was looking at me, I might be too big or too small for their liking but reminded  me that this shouldn’t ever matter. What should NEVER happen, my mother said, was the part where you actual believe that what they’re saying about you is your truth.

It took me a while to realize the honesty behind what my mother told me when I was younger. Depending on who was looking at me, they might think I was TOO much of something. She’s too skinny, she’s too curvy, she’s too short, she’s too feminine, too tomboyish.

This helped me come to one of the biggest revelations that I live by: I have the power to define what being beautiful means. To me, there is no such thing as being too much of anything, I just am. My duty to myself is to aim to be the healthiest version of myself and truly love every inch and every curve.

Being healthy and completely loving & accepting yourself just as you are, is how I define true confidence.

My advice to everyone regardless of age and size is this: love yourself. Truly love yourself. We all have something special about us–even incredible, unknown talents. Use them for good.

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Need some tips on how to begin gaining more confidence? Read these quick 5 tips I recommend you start doing today.

  1. Smile more. No one, and I mean NO ONE, has the same smile as you. Go ahead, smile at the mirror, girl. Show yourself that when no one is looking, the person starring back at you in the mirror is happy and feels that way too.

  2. Stop COMPARING yourself to celebrities, friends, complete strangers, humans, aliens etc. Just stop it. Guess what? You and the person you are comparing yourself to weren’t meant to be the same. You both have gifts, talents, and qualities that make you just that, you.

  3. Embrace your imperfections. Know thyself. When I finally realized how perfectly imperfect I was, the way I viewed beauty completely changed.  Don’t let people dictate who you are or how you should feel about yourself.                                              IN MY EXPERIENCE: When someone tries to bring me down for, let’s say, my height (i’m a short gal), I take no offense because I’m completely accepting of my height. I’d rather make a witty remark to show that person it doesn’t bother me. When people say I’m short in a negative conation, I tell them “I think God just wanted me to have a lot of hair.”

  4. Try new things. Try that new hairstyle or fashion trend you want to. Sometimes pushing our comfort zones we learn new things about ourself and bodies. I did a boudoir shoot and it unexpectedly made me feel that much more comfortable in my own skin.
  5. Last but not least, stay humble, my friends. This world is filled with a lot of people who believe they are walking gods and that their looks or bodies should be worshipped (especially on Instagram/social media). I assure you, being grateful and humble will definitely go a longer way than being boastful and conceited. God has given you the beauty and talents so that you can be the best version of yourself!
    Don’t forget what Queen Bey said: “Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper.”

My special advice to younger girls is this: when it comes to the pressure some girls feel about guys and finding “the one”, the right person for you will absolutely love everything about you, flaws and all. I can honestly say, that not every guy wants that “perfect” 5’11 size 2 with C or DD cups and the roundest, perkiest perfect busom type of girl because I wouldn’t be with my guy if that was the case (I’m short and a member of the itty bitty committee). Just like we have this idea of what perfect is, a guy’s idea of perfect could be [insert your name here]. You my darling, are FLAWLESS***

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Confidence is something that I feel I work on every day and it’s those small things we do every day that lead us to be the best version of ourselves.

This post is dedicated to two special teenage girls whom I love very much – Lynae and Dayana. You girls are growing up in an era where the internet is so in your face about defining how you should look and act but you both are the epitome of beautiful and I hope you never forget that. ❤

XO,

JoJo

5 Reasons why every woman should do a Boudoir shoot!

I wanted to share with you all a unique experience that although I am late at posting about it (blame life) it’s something that can be done anytime. Back in February I got to do something I had never done before in my life – a boudoir shoot. A couple of boss babes that I know hosted a pop-up boudoir shoot in their home and I quickly jumped on the opportunity. I must admit, I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be, since I made the decision to turn any fears (or complexes) I had into pure excitement! I left the shoot feeling like a million bucks and I promised myself that I would let all my confidence-seeking ladies know about it. If you haven’t done a boudoir photo shoot before, this is a MUST. 

5 Reasons why I think every woman should do a Boudoir shoot!

  1. It makes you feel sexy. I must admit even though my boo was going to be the one receiving these pictures, this really became more of a gift for myself! I loved getting my makeup done and putting on lingerie and being one with all my perfect imperfections. The photographer walked me through certain poses and it felt like I was channeling my inner Rihanna for a quick second.
  2. It helped me appreciate my body for all that it is. When I saw the pictures I was like DAMN THAT GIRL SHOULD BE ON AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL. But in all seriousness, the setting and the poses helped me to find my groove and find positions that flattered me the most. The pictures were beautiful and most importantly I fell in love just a tad bit more with my true self.
  3. Girl Power. I must admit, I wouldn’t have felt as comfortable and empowered if it weren’t all the females around me. Believe it or not, you build connections with every person around you and it’s a dope feeling! 
  4. Owning it! Doing this shoot really helped me push myself to own my sexuality and not be ashamed of it. Towards the end of the shoot, I had become so comfortable I was asking the photographer “Did you get this side?”, “What about this side?” 😉
  5. I came out of the shoot feeling confident AF. This shoot made me see that even though i’m working out like crazy and I don’t have 3D abs (yet), there is beauty in the process. I honestly can’t wait for my next shoot! (want to read more about confidence? check out this post

I want to take the time to thank Charly & Cortney for hosting this pop-up! They made the whole process so smooth and had me feeling super comfortable. You babes rock! I can’t wait for the next pop up photoshoot, and to all my ladies reading this post–get in touch with me via Instagram or my website to get the scoop on the next photoshoot!  

#CurrentlyLoving – Bohofaux

Back in October I got to meet the ladies of Bohofaux. Automatically I was drawn to their bohemian feel and love for hair! I got my hair braided by the lovely ladies of bohofaux and got to talk about their story behind their brand and I fell in love. They currently travel  to different venues and festivals to style hair and also do some temporary glitter and tattoo applications. I mean who doesn’t love some glitter??!! Check out their website or instagram feed for some braid and glitter inspiration! Xo.

After I got my hair braided by the lovely ladies of Bohofaux.
After I got my hair braided by the lovely ladies of Bohofaux.

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What hairstyles are you all currently falling in love with?

 

 

Weekend Snapshot

This weekend I went on, what I hope to be, the final round of apartment searching. There are many exciting things that are coming up for me and this weekend gave me a glimpse of what I have to look forward to.The best part of it though, was the fact I got to cross a lot of things off my “to-do” list. It seems like time is just flying (can you believe its mid-June already?!) and with each weekend that passes I seem to be filling my calendar up more and more.

My favorite part of this weekend though, was spending time with my Mom. On Saturday we got all dolled up and went to brunch at The Boathouse (you have to check this place out, it is SO good). It was by the water in Baltimore and if you know me, being by the water makes me feel so good.

I had been dying to wear my new LC by Lauren Conrad heels and couldn’t wait to style such a cute and light Free People bottom. As I got ready for the Saturday, I grabbed my camera and had an adventurous Saturday with my Mama!

Below are just pictures of my outfit because I just loved it so much. My top and bottom are from Free People and they were just so comfortable and lightweight that it was needed to bare the the heat upon us this past weekend. My love and slight obsession with Lauren Conrad came about years ago when I saw her on The Hills but grew even more as she became such a successful businesswoman and style inspiration. Now I always keep up with her line because not only are her stuff super cute but also super comfortable. A lot of the shoes I’ve bought off her collection are perfect for work and play 😉 and are easy to style from day to night. (Sidenote: I look at Free People’s and LC’s blog RELIGIOUSLY)

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Top: Skinny Strap Brami and Bottom: Free people, they dont have it online anymore but this is a similar one. Heels: LC by Lauren Conrad

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I hope you guys enjoyed your weekend and I also hope I have some very exciting news to share with y’all in the upcoming week…stay tuned. ❤

Xo,

HippieGal

Channel your inner strength

Oh, Happy April! I realized that it’s been some time since my last post, but I promise you it hasn’t been because I’ve been lazy, quite the contrary. These past couple of weeks have been so busy but during those times I’ve had my blog on my mind all the time. I’ll be able to give you guys glimpses of what I’ve been doing but in the meantime I decided to share this post with you all because it comes from a special place.

Channeling my inner strength

I love accessories. You will never find me leave my house without my bracelets and/or rings. I haven’t been too much of an earrings type of gal…but the gifts I have received in the past months have made me appreciate earrings more and more. If I find a brand that speaks to me, I love to share it with others, especially to those that share similar interests. It’s no secret I love Free People. I love the brand and what they stand for. A lot of their jewelry is handmade too and a lot of the designs really embody what I stand for, which is being free. I also have a slight obsession with handmade and fair trade products. There is something good about feeling like that piece of jewelry was handmade for you and when you know it’s more than just making a profit out of a product it goes beyond that.

So on to my latest obsession, IB designs. One of my favorite gifts I’ve received, I received this past Christmas. Gifts with meaning behind them truly melt my heart. A gift doesn’t necessarily have to be material possessions; you’d be surprised how much I cherish a handwritten letter/note. The gift that melted my heart happened to be a bracelet. My beau bought me a Lavi bracelet from IB Designs. Lavi means “life” in Patois and Creole, and when I opened the gift there was a small note in it that read:

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Maybe it was because it was a gift from someone that means the world to me, or maybe it’s the energy I feel from wearing the bracelet but I haven’t been able to take it off since. I’ve probably catered most, if not all, of my outfits around the bracelet, if I’m being honest.

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When I had visited St. Croix I went to their store & fell in love with so many pieces that I couldn’t decide what to purchase. I tried on a ring and although I didn’t buy it while I was down there, it stayed on my mind until I reached home. I remembered the meaning of the symbol that i spoke so much truth in my life.

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Over the past weeks a lot of things in my life have been changing and they’ve been changing rapidly. During the end of January through mid-February I had been under a lot of stress and it seemed like a lot of the things in my life were out of my control. That, to me, was so scary. Not being able to figure out how to control the chaos frustrated me. So what did I do? I did the one and only thing I could do….which was pray. I prayed for wisdom, patience but most importantly I prayed for strength. I needed strength to keep going and I needed strength so that I could be the person God has intended me to be. During those hard times, a lot of my close friends/family needed me. They didn’t need anything material from me they needed something spiritual from me, which was strength. I’ve always felt like life has a way of preparing me for moments like these right before they happen. They needed me to listen to them without chiming in and they needed me to pass on some hope and strength through our conversations. I realized that every situation or challenge presented to me during this time was an opportunity to get stronger, spiritually.

Fast forward to now and I am very grateful for how different aspects of my life are merging together. I started a new job and this job has been a huge blessing in more ways than one. I also got back in my groove of working out and remaining active (post about this to follow) and I am more than grateful for all of the relationships around me. Throughout the ups and downs of the past weeks, I couldn’t stop thinking about that ring and decided to place my order. I received my ring last week and it’s absolutely beautiful. Similar to my bracelet, every day when I look down at my hand and see my strength ring I remind myself that God will always give me the strength I need to get through anything and everything.

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So my post today is simply dedicated to one of the strongest people I know, my Abuelita. When I feel like I cant get through something, I ask God for strength and always call my grandma so she can pray for me. Her faith and strength is a fountain of strength for my whole family and is my constant reminder of what it means to be such a strong and independent woman.

Lastly to all of you that feel like whatever you are going through right now is one of the hardest things you’ve ever gone through, I’m letting you know God will you give you the strength you need to get through it. Whether it is a bad morning, day, relationship, or obstacle I believe that you have the strength to get through it.

“Love the Life you live. Embrace it, cherish it, and share it joyfully with those you love.”

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XO,

Hippie