Sequin Gowns & Mermaid Crowns : May 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Nothing Like a Good 'Ol Fashioned BBQ

So this weekend I, as I'm sure many of you did, went to a barbecue.  It was awesome getting off on a Sunday during Memorial Day weekend, being in retail, so I was amped.  My parents, aunt and uncle came to visit for the weekend which was awesome, since I haven't seen anyone since I moved back down here.  Also it was my mom's and my other aunt's birthdays!  So I guess it was a Memorial Day/Birthday bash!

I started off the day at the beach with my dad, which was wonderful.  It was the perfect beach day and I was totally in mermaid status. See below.

After that and a little bit of shopping, we headed to my aunt and uncle's house for a barbecue.  I love their house so much.  They just redid it and it legit looks like a boat.  It's awesome.  So don't be surprised if you see it pop up again in future pictures.

Like any other barbecue, we had lots of food, booze, and good times.  My cousin Alyssa and I got to hang out and girl talk, which is always the best.  We even got a few pretty great snapshots!

She also might be hired as my new blog photographer since I'm starting to run out of places to hold my iPhone while I put it on the timer haha. We managed to get a pretty sick shot of my outfit!

Since I had been at the beach, and was going to be in the pool later I totally just left my bathing suit on under my dress/shirt.  That's the salt life for you.  There actually is a meaning behind the term "beach bum."

[Dress: Free People  | Hat: Claire's (like a gazillion years ago) | Shoes: Birkenstock's | Necklace: Geometric Theory (Etsy) | Bracelets: Lokai,  Lucky Brand ]

Through all of the family fun and chatting, we had to stop for a birthday celebration!  My mom and my aunt Deb had the coolest cake ever!

Unfortunately, on actual Memorial Day I had to work.  But that did not deter me from being super patriotic!!  I rocked the red, white, and blue like it was nobody's business (in my opinion.)  Another fun example of combining my usual wardrobe with my drawer full of lululemon gear. 

[Tee: Abercrombie & Fitch | Jacket: Lucky Brand | Scarf: lululemon | Pants: lululemon | Shoes: Converse ]

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Just Keep Swimming!

Yesterday started off awful. I woke up late, felt like absolute crap, and did nothing all morning but stare at the TV wrapped up in a blanket. Being reminded that you're, in fact, not pregnant really screws with your vibes.

Recently my energy has been super high and I've been extremely happy and loving life. Which is big, considering the last several years have not been my absolute best. Regardless, today was the first day I was just plain 'ol miserable and it was a jarring reminder of how I most definitely do not want to feel.

For the first time EVER I didn't want to go to work. Granted, I had a good reason, but I haven't felt that way in a long time. But despite my imminent death, I got up and got my butt to work.  Not only did I not feel good, but it was pouring rain and it took me forever to get to work and by the time I got in I was soaked. Needless to say, I was not in high spirits.

Until I got to talking with my co workers. One of the things we do, that I love, are clearings and vibrations. Basically, we share anything that's making us super happy or not so much. So letting them know that, "hey, I feel like crap today" is not only freeing but then having them ask if there's anything they can do and bouncing advice off each other, now THAT will snap you right out of it.

It was like I walked into another dimension where I was my normal, energetic self. It took me a minute, but once I started talking to my friends and helping customers I felt 1000 times better! It's truly amazing what kind words and positive vibes can do for you: mentally, emotionally, and physically. And that brings me to the quote. When you're having a rough day, just keep on going!  Maybe the thing you're dreading doing will actually make you feel better! Stay positive and optimistic even in the worst of times!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Let's Talk About This: It's Ok to Be Unusual

This post is brought to you by unnecessary guilt and embarrassment.  I am not the kind of person who is easily embarrassed, nor do I often do things to warrant guilt.  So you can imagine how this is affecting me.  It's time for me to get it off my chest.

The Journey

My entire life, I've been a warrior in the weight loss battle.  I always thought I'd just gotten the fat gene, because I couldn't understand why I was always so heavy.  I've been "big for my age" since as long as I can remember, but it didn't really bother me until I hit middle school.  I've tried so many diets: Weight Watchers, calorie counting, cutting out soda, the works.  Some of them worked for a bit, but then the next thing I knew, the weight was back.

My freshman year of high school, I started Jenny Craig.  It sucked.  What teenager enjoys eating mediocre food out of a microwaveable tray? None.  I would have much rather had a cheesesteak.  But I did it, because I was at my highest weight and I just didn't feel like myself.  I also had gym at school, so I was getting in a good amount of exercise.  On that program I lost 30 lbs and was at my smallest in my sophomore year.  Then I gained most of it back by the time I graduated. [below: left- freshman year of high school, right- sophomore year of high school]

Entering college, I was terrified of the "freshman 15."  Lord knew I didn't need another reason to gain weight.  Since apparently just breathing made me fat. At 18, I still didn't know why I was so heavy.  I got lucky, being in theatre and having dance classes.  I actually lost weight my first couple years of school.  Except for the usual 10 pounds of pure food and cookies I gained every year during the holidays.  [below: left- freshman year, right- sophomore year]

By the time I graduated college (2 years ago) I had gone on Jenny Craig again (and failed) and tried many other methods of not eating the things I wanted.  I was on the heavier side again, my shape had transitioned from boy like to woman like (aka. momma hips) and I was actually the most unhappy I'd been in a long time.  [below: left- junior year, right- senior year]

When I moved back home, I stayed about the same.  I continued to try different diets and yo-yo'd a lot.  There was a point where I lost some weight because I was working out often.  But it still just boomeranged back on me.

Fall 2013

In the midst of all this, I had a doctor's appointment with my endocrinologist.  If you don't know, Endocrinology is the study of the endocrine system, which includes hormones, the thyroid and other things that aren't relevant to this story.  Lol.  If you want to learn more, I googled it for you.

Anyway, back in middle school, I had learned I may possibly have something called PCOS: Polycistic Ovarian Syndrome.  Which is, in a nutshell, a syndrome of the endocrine system that effects your cycles, hormones, appearance, and your heart.  When I was talked to about this, I was still too young to determine whether I had it or not, so it just kind of faded from the picture.

Several years later, my doctor tells me that she thinks I do have it.  Wonderful.  Tell me more.  She put me on a medication that was supposed to help with the symptoms: weight gain being my main issue, but also excess hair growth, whacked out hormones, and stomach problems.  So I said ok and started the medication.

Summer 2014
Fall 2014
January 2015

March 2015

A year and a half later (today) I am aware that I have PCOS, and my dose of medication has been upped a few times. But I've never felt better.  I'm at the lowest weight I've been since high school, and my other symptoms are improving.

Me in the tightest clothes I own. Gahh. 

The Guilt

After a lifetime of diets and exercising and craziness, I have done practically nothing in comparison to lose the weight I've lost recently.  And I feel horrible about it.  Everyone who loses a lot of weight always has these incredible stories of what they did to get there.  And when people ask me, I'm just like, #blessed? Like I don't know what to say.  Do I want to go into this whole life story I just told you with every person I encounter? No. But do I want people to think I'm taking medication just to lose weight? Absolutely not. I just know how I used to feel when girls who look like friggin' JLo have the metabolism of a 10 year old and sit there and eat chili fries while I sit there picking at my salad. I just wanted to kill them, really.  Like I would kill to have your metabolism.  I didn't kill anyone, but I do have that metabolism now.  So I don't want to throw it in people's faces.  Know what I mean?  I'm ranting now, but you get the idea.

But I told myself it was silly to feel that way!  Why should I feel guilty about where I worked so hard to get? Maybe it was not the "usual" way, but it worked for me.  I had a syndrome that was causing me to be heavy, not my lifestyle.  So now this medication has balanced the two.  My lifestyle now represents my appearance.  I eat well, I exercise often.  I junk food binge now and then, but otherwise, I'm healthy and I look healthy.  Well, I'm getting there at least.  I'm definitely no little skinny thing.  I honestly don't think I ever will be.  But I'm okay with that.  And I'm going to embrace my unusual way of being.  I finally feel right in my own skin.  I finally feel like I'm getting to where my body is meant to be.

So I hope everyone gets from this that it's okay to be unusual.  In any sense!  That's what make you interesting, and that's what makes you you! I hope my story is taken as fascinating and not aggravating.  And I want to hear what makes you unusual!  Link me to your own stories or comment! :)

PCOS is more common than you think.  It effects 1 in 10 women and can occur in girls as young as 11.  To find out more information about PCOS, check out the links below!

XO, Briana

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Just a Little lulu

So I've been digging my wardrobe lately, mostly because it consists of stretchy pants and comfy tops.  Don't judge me.  We all know you wish you could wear leggings to work.  Any who, even though most of what I wear to work is lululemon brand, I've been having fun styling my outfits.  Because as comfortable as it may be, it gets kind of boring wearing black pants and a workout top everyday.  Especially for a fashionista like me.  So I took a queue from some of my genius coworkers and mixed it up a bit.  This includes mixing my lulu with other brands and using staple pieces and accessories to spice up my looks.  This allows me to be comfy, hardcore rep for the brand, and also express my personal style.  So I thought I'd make just a little post dedicated to some of my looks thus far.  I know there are many more to come, so I'd say expect a part deux.

For this outfit, I'm wearing three lulu pieces: Wunder Under Crops, the Salutation to Savasana top, & the Manifesto Energy Bra (not pictured, Instead of wearing a track jacket or a hoodie, I opted for my Lucky Brand denim jacket and wore my super badass shark tooth necklace from Geometric Theory on Etsy.  I really loved this outfit because I felt like I was styled and not just wearing workout clothes.  And btw, this shirt is amazing,  I couldn't get a great picture of it on, but here's the original lulu picture.  So freakin cute.

This outfit was a little more on the work out side, but it's a good example of mixing my brands.  And I felt particularly cute that day.  Here I have on my lulu Wunder Under Pants (that are reversible btw!) and my aqua colored Energy Bra (which I'm basically obsessed with this style. I have 3 and counting).  The top is from JCPenny's and the jacket is DC.  Topped all off with my trusty Nike flip flops.  I liked this outfit because I really love that print and I was comfortable, yet still stylish!  

Here is a good example of nailing your active wear accessory game. I was killing it this day in all black with my lululemon grey track jacket (super comfy and the moisture wicking is fantastic for those days when you're cold, but still kind of hot and sweaty if you know what I mean) and my hot pink Diversity scarf.  The scarf is very large, so it kind of needs to be the center of attention.  So offsetting it with neutrals and pulling my hair back was perf.  Also, my Lucky Brand Om earrings are my staple.

First off, how cute is this collage I made?! Sorry to toot my own horn, but I was particularly excited because this was my first full day at lululemon since we opened! Here I'm wearing the same pants as the first picture (I call them my mermaid pants!) but I was super coordinated.  I have on my lime green Elevate tank, the same jacket from the previous photo, and my oh so perfectly matching Nike Free Runs.  I got a lot of compliments that day, especially "oh cool you're so coordinated!" with my response being, "I have to coordinate my outfits because I'm not coordinated in any other possible way."  Funny, but true.  This outfit was head to toe lululemon, but you'd be surprised how much effort it takes to put something on other than all black.  You do actually have to think about it.  I call it, stylized comfy.  But it's still stylized!

This is just a taste of my awesome outfits and my continuous obsession with buying lululemon clothes.  The fever has just begun.  So I plan to post more of my work outfits and what makes them fashionable! Have you tried lululemon clothes? What is your favorite? And if you haven't I encourage you to try it out!! But a fair warning, once you start wearing lulu, you legit won't want to wear anything else!! Thank god it's my job! ;)

XO, Briana

Disclaimer: I am not being compensated for this post.  I really, honestly just love my job and the clothes that come with it!