Tuesday, April 26, 2016

MY PETITE (AND PROUD) FASHION GUIDE

To begin with, I am 5'0. I've been mistaken to be younger than my age for as long as I can remember, most kids pass my height by age 11, usually people have to look down to talk to me, and I am everyone's perfect armrest. Can anyone relate? 

For my entire life I've struggled with finding clothes that fit my petite size. Jeans, sleeves, dresses, skirts and basically everything else are almost always too long. Certain clothes that look normal on the average person make me look frumpy. I may pick a dress that I love, just to try it on and see that it comes down to that awkward length below my knees. Long sleeved shirts make my hands disappear and some normal shirts look like a dress on me. Does anyone out there understand? 

Luckily, over time I have discovered little tips and tricks for knowing what clothes will look normal on me. For example, I don't even try to attempt jeans that aren't labeled "short" length. The best short sizes for my height are at American Eagle. Pretty much all of my pants are from there. I can always count on a perfect length and also their jeggings are so comfy. In fact, I don't think I'll ever go back to wearing regular jeans because I compare them with the comfort of AE jeggings. Also I've found that skinny jeans/jeggings make you appear taller/thinner. Over all, I definitely recommend them to help out with the short struggle. 

Secondly, as I mentioned earlier, another problem I face is trying to find the right dress/skirt length. Unfortunately it it rare to find these items with specified "short" labels, so I have to improvise! Recently, I haven't even been trying many dresses because I can usually tell that they will be too long anyway. Instead, my current favorites are high waisted skirts. These types of skirts are very useful for short gals like me because they can fit a wide range of heights. Unlike dresses, skirts can be adjusted and you can wear them higher up if needed so that they aren't too long. Also, you usually don't have to worry about them being too short either. My personal rule is if it is lower than my finger tips by my side, then it is modest and classy. (Just my opinion) 

Clearly I love high waisted skirts but the problem is that it's difficult to pair them with normal tops because many times they are too tight at the top to tuck in excess material without it looking bunched up. To fix this, crop tops are perfect! I'm obsessed with the cropped trend right now. I have so many different tops to pair with skirts or anything high waisted. Also if you wear a shorter top with a higher bottom, it makes your legs look longer! That is always a plus for us shorties.

My favorite tops of all right now are mid turtleneck crop tops. These are so trendy and classy. I have a variety of tank tops and long sleeved turtlenecks and I still want more colors! Usually they aren't too expensive either. You can find them very cheap at Forever 21. . Not to mention, the turtlenecks actually make a short neck appear longer too, double bonus advantage!

Some crop tops are meant to show mid drift but for us petite ladies, certain kinds may actually look like normal a length on us. It's almost like a short sized top! But just in case, I say a high waisted bottom always ensures modesty with crop tops.

There are certain stores that have a petite section. My favorite petite selection is at Loft. All of my business attire (from when I worked in an office) and fancy dresses are from there. Also, their maxi dresses fit perfectly. It is the only place I have ever found maxis and professional clothes that have the right length, even in the sleeves. They can be a bit pricey but they also have huge sales often, if you catch them at the right time.

Lastly, I'm a Florida girl so I love wearing flip flops and sandals. These are comfy but they don't do much to help short problems. The best shoes are heeled booties in my opinion because they are comfortable and they can be casual or fancy. Plus, the other day I was wearing mine and someone told me that I looked much taller then they remember (I was also wearing a crop top/high waisted skirt). See, it all works!

Also, heeled sandals are great. My current favorites are square wooden heels. I love the natural look. But for the times you don't feel like wearing heels, I recommend pointed flats because they actually give you a taller appearance. 

Remember, being short still has it's advantages. You are cute, fun sized, and perfect the way that you are! God made you tiny for a reason and it is beautiful. Embrace your height, and your cute factor. Yes, your fashion can change your height appearance slightly and your shoes can add a couple inches, but don't dress to get the approval of others. These petite tips are for you to use for yourself and your style. It's ok to look your best and look classy while doing it. It's ok to wear something that makes you feel pretty and trendy. Just make you are doing it out of healthy confidence, rather than insecurity. You may not be the typical average "model height", but I promise you that you are perfect just the way you are. You are God's child, made in His image and you can be confident in how He created you. 

I hope this guide helps you find clothes that fit well, feel comfortable and make you feel beautiful! 

Here's my current favorites breakdown :

American Eagle
Jeggings (short length)

Forever 21
High waisted skirts (I love suede)
Crop tops
Crop top mid turtlenecks (tanks and sleeves) 

Loft
Petite maxis 
Petite casual/formal dresses
Petite professional 

Shoes
Heeled booties
Square wooden heels
Pointed flats


All from Forever 21
Crop Top: aeropastle.com High Waisted Skirt: forever21.com 
Wooden Heels:  francosarto.com 
Layered Necklaces and Stacked Bracelets: modestgold.co

Comment below with any petite tips, clothing items or favorite stores! I would love to read some more options :) 

Always love,

Darcy

Thursday, April 14, 2016

GO TO COLLEGE OR LIVE UNDER A BRIDGE

It begins at five years old, when people start asking what you want to be when you grow up.

It continues through elementary school in various forms of career education, field assessments, and tests.

By the time you're twelve, you should already have an idea of who you want to be and what college you want to attend.

In high school, you focus on your grades, join extra curricular activities, and put yourself under pressure to be the perfect college candidate. 

You choose what you think will give you the most success and you are expected to know where you belong in the world as a teenager.

This is what our culture tells us we have to do.

I followed this cultural norm for most of my life.

I made straight As and if I got anything below that, I would beat myself up about it.

I constantly had anxiety about my future because I felt like I needed to make a set decision on a career path that I could never change because of my college degree.

I thought a degree defined who I was going to become.

I thought a 9-5 job defined whether I would live under a bridge or not. 

So I stressed myself out with every possible activity, searching for the one that I was most talented at. 

I needed an area that would provide for my entire life. I didn't know what it was.

I began taking college classes in high school so that I could graduate a year early...overachieving once again. 

I thought it would make me look impressive.

But it didn't change the fact that I still didn't know my place in the world.

So I left the country to go see if I could find it.

I was seventeen, when I went to Ireland on a mission trip for a year.

I thought getting away would give me some direction and I hoped God would show me where He wanted me.

I was right.

That decision changed my entire perspective and I discovered that there is more to life than a college degree.

The American culture is so pressuring and we wonder why so many of us have anxiety/depression.

Life is more than your job. 

It is about seeing beauty in the world, loving people, helping others, and doing what God has called you to do.

Yes, you can do all of those things in a career.

But the point is, if you don't enjoy what you are doing and you do not feel fulfilled, then most likely you are not living up to your full potential.

If you hate going to college, then it might not be for you.

Some callings require degrees, some don't. 

Whether you have a degree or not, God can use you. Your success is dependent on the effort you put in every day to live the best life you can. 

Unfortunately, when I came back to America, I felt the pressure again. 

Some of the lessons I learned started to fade because it was time for college and reality hit. Culture shock.

Still, I chose a private Christian college, rather than a prestigious one because I never understood why that really mattered. 

Anyway, I actually enjoyed every minute of school because I chose a setting that I knew would teach me about business from a Christian perspective.

I learned so much and I will never take that for granted.

If you enjoy school, then you should go. If not, you probably won't actually learn or remember any of it.

To be honest, your degree won't make much of a difference either if you aren't even passionate or interested in your career field.

In fact, you'll hate waking up everyday doing something that only gives you a paycheck. 

Moving on...

I received a four year degree, in two years.

I graduated Summa Cum Laude.

I was an overachiever again and rushed my classes.

I stressed myself out, had anxiety and still felt pressure to make perfect grades for job applications.

"Just to be safe" 

I listened to the voices around me who affirmed that it was ok to be stressed out. That is just the real world. Adult life. 

I was depressed. 

On top of that, I worked almost full time hours.

I was a teenager.

I am now twenty years old. 

I could have gone on to get my Master's and even my Doctorate because I was such a good student.

I could have followed the culture and pursued a full time career right when I graduated.

I could have applied to a corporate 9-5 salaried job with benefits and a 401k plan.

I could have made a great resume because I've been a server, a customer service rep, an HRIS government intern, a receptionist, an apprentice optician, an optometric technician and an optical sales associate.

Needless to say, I did try the whole job thing. That is why I feel qualified to write this right now.

I might be young, but I have lived on my own and I know what it takes to make a living.

Please don't think I am saying that no one should get a job, obviously God calls us to different areas. I just was not fulfilled in any of my workplaces. It wasn't for me.

I realized that life should be fulfilling and rewarding everyday.

Ultimately, I don't regret a second of the past few years because I can look back and learn from all of my experiences.

I will never go back to dreading my life and going through the motions.

Sometimes I still wonder if I'll end up under a bridge because the pressure comes back. 

But then I remember that I'm in charge of my future. So I hustle everyday to reach my goals. 

Now, here I am to tell you that whatever path you go down, just make sure you love it.

Life is too short to not enjoy it.

If you love school, go for it!

If you love your job, go for it!

Just know, you are not defined by your degree or position

You can become whoever you want on your own, using your own talents and passion.

Dream big.

I have a business degree that I've never had to show anyone. 

I started my own online business and I have a job I enjoy that doesn't require it. 

I plan on seeing the world and being free to do what I love.

I believe in myself.

I believe in you. 

If you didn't go to college or if you don't have a job, I won't judge! 

I see you, not your credentials.

It's time we all see each other that way because that's how God sees us too. 

They always say, "Be who you are" but what does that even mean if you are trapped in a mindset where your position defines you.

Instead, "Be who you are...called to be". You can never go wrong with living out your God given passion and loving the life you live. Let Him define you, not society. 

And if you still aren't sure where you are called to be yet, don't worry. We are all on a journey and God will show us at different times.

"You ain't gotta make your mind up right now. Don't rush, no pressure .." - Justin Bieber (Sorry, you know I had to throw that in there) 😂




Always love,

Darcy


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Monday, April 11, 2016

REGRETTING VS. REPENTING


Sin

It's just not worth it

I lay here and think

I regret

The cycle continues

Too easy to sink 

To forget

The feeling of guilt

When it shrinks

It begins

But in the end

It's the same

The pain

Of what I did

Back it came

Again

So why repeat

It won't change

The sin

Not just regret

Something else

Different

To turn it around

Thinking new

To repent


We all sin everyday. It is just part of our human condition. We are constantly being tempted by the enemy to do wrong and go against God's commands. This consistent struggle is the reason why Jesus came to die for us. We no longer have to live under the burden of guilt and shame. Instead, we can trust in Jesus, ask for His forgiveness, and repent of our sin. 

Unfortunately, sometimes that is easier said than done. It is common for us to only regret our failures, rather than turn away from them. We may think "I know that was wrong and I wish I didn't do that" but we don't actually change our lifestyle to keep it from happening again. 

Believe me, I am not saying I'm perfect at this. That is why I wrote this poem. I still mess up all the time but I try to keep a mindset of steady improvement. If I sin, I try to change something in my life so that it won't keep cycling and I confess it to God. The sooner I admit it, the easier it is to stop it from repeating. 

I encourage you to recognize any sin that might be cycling in your life. Maybe it is a common occurrence and you want the guilt to end. It is different to regret, than to repent. Change your sinful habit today, let the burden go, and put it in the hands of Jesus. Don't just keep feeling bad over and over again. Don't keep fighting against the Spirit of God. Repent, be free and chase after grace. 

Always love,

Darcy




Tuesday, April 5, 2016

IT IS NOT SELFISH TO LOVE YOURSELF

"Why did you buy flowers? What's the special occasion?"

"Oh there's no special reason, I just love myself and I love flowers, so I bought myself flowers." 



Did you know that it's ok to be nice to yourself and do what makes you happy? It may sound silly but I didn't know that for a very long time. This was a lesson that took me 20 years to learn. I lived my whole life trying to please people and disregarded my own happiness. I cared about making other people feel good and my personal needs came last. 

You see, I was born with strong empathy and emotional awareness, so I have always been able to pick up on the feelings of others. Even when I was four years old I would cry when I saw someone else crying. I just felt it too. As I got older, I still took on the unhappiness or pain of others in order to relate with them. I would try to bring people up, while putting myself down. I thought I was being humble and unselfish...but I was wrong, very wrong. 

As a matter of fact, even though I thought that this was helping others, it really wasn't. I neglected myself which made me more dependent on everyone else to fulfill my needs. Since I put so much of my heart into caring for them, I expected the same effort in return. I never got back what I was giving because I was giving way too much of myself. All it did was cause disappointment. 

The Bible says to "love your neighbor, as yourself". For a long time, my interpretation of this was to love my neighbor by treating them as I would want my neighbor to treat me... rather than treating my neighbor the same as I treat myself. I thought it meant that we should all just love each other and I disregarded the fact that I needed to love myself too. I hope that makes sense! 

Anyway, long story short, this realization happened when I started going to Christian counseling and it changed my life. Ever since I started being mindful of loving myself, I have been happier and my relationships have improved because I'm not expecting too much from other people. It definitely did not happen overnight. I didn't just wake up and say "Yay I love myself now!" No...it has been a process. It's a deep feeling and it has to be cultivated like any loving relationship. 

So now I don't expect to get my love tank filled from others all the time. That expectation is draining on both sides. Of course it is still nice to receive little things and feel loved by people but now I see that I can care for myself as well by doing the things that I love. I can buy myself flowers. I can give myself time to do the things I enjoy. I can allow myself to feel happy. I can take care of my body and feel good. I can say no to others if I don't want to do what they are asking of me. (That last one is still hard for me...but necessary) 

Disclaimer: Putting your needs first may disappoint people sometimes and that's OK. In the long run, you will have more to give if you understand your own needs.

Not to mention, the more I love myself, the better I can know how to love others. It's amazing! Also, the more I feel loved by myself, the more I understand God's love for me. He is the only one who is with me everyday and he is constantly showering me with love, without any pressuring expectations of something in return. Why? Because He doesn't need our love! He loves Himself enough! Does He want our love? Yes He does, but He never holds it against us and that is what REAL love is.

Plus, now that I give myself more "me" time, I am able to stop and pay attention to the little blessings God is giving me each day. It is truly a life changing discovery.

Again, I feel like this is probably the most important lesson I've learned in life thus far. I urge you to think on this concept and put it in action if you haven't already. At first, I thought it was just a fad or a humanistic concept to 'Love Yourself' (or just my favorite Justin Beiber song) but my friends, it is much more than that! It is a lifestyle change. 

Comment below with some ways that you show yourself love! <3

Always Love,

Darcy