Sunday, January 21, 2018

Self Care Sunday | I'm Happy With Who I am These Days

Happy Self Care Sunday!  I wanted to provide an update from my last Self Care Sunday Post - Live Your Truth in October, 2017.  Never in a million years that I could fathom that I would be sharing something so personal about myself online.  However when I changed my company name from Opulent Couturier to Andrea Latrice Style, I made a promise to myself to show more vulnerability and transparency in my business so that my clients could get to know me.  I am a very private person so this is stretching me in ways that you could not even imagine.  Its making me better and more in sync with what fuels me and brings me joy. This has also fostered some great conversation with online friends that have opened up to me.  I am grateful.

In my last post Live Your Truth, I shared my experience from the very beginning of my journey of dealing with some unsettled family communication with dealing with my biological fathers suicide & dealing with stress.  Today I want to share what steps I have taken to move past it and continue on with my life.  This was one of the hardest things that I had to deal with in 2017 and now looking back, I can say that its made me stronger in knowing that when I do have a family of my own  that  open communication will be front and center.  This is a hot button especially in the African American community of keeping "family secrets at a hush" or that "Mysterious Play Uncle or Auntie" that just shows up at the family functions.  LOL...I digress.

Step 1:  Dealing with Anxiety 

In dealing with the bottled up grief from the past 37 years I would have never have imagined that I would be dealing with anxiety.  When you don't talk about things and just allow them to lay dormant for years, baby when you open that can it brings out so many things that you could least expect.  In transparency I have dealt with so many of these things (above) over the last few months in 2017.  It was not fun nor was it pretty but I am on the other side.   Being an  introvert and quiet person until you get to know me, this caused me to tuck myself away in my own little cocoon.  I was a functioning business woman struggling with anxiety.  Day to day if you saw me you could never tell it  (well maybe if you really knew me some could tell) but on the regular it was business as usual.  When I came home I went back into my shell of being in my thoughts and feelings.  Its not something that I want to deal with ever again but now that I know what triggers these attacks, I know how to deal with them before it becomes overbearing.  

Step 2.  Finding a Good Counselor/Therapist 

There is a stigma especially in the African American community that we need to take all of our problems to the Lord (or your higher power).  I firmly believe that God blesses individuals to step in on the earth to help those that are in need of support.  Yes you can talk to your girlfriends & family but sometimes things need to go a step further.  I am thankful that I found my Counselor when I did, she is pretty amazing and I have referred her to several people especially over the holidays.  I have to be real, counseling was very challenging because it forced me to confront and think about a lot of things in a different way.  My Counselor always gave me "homework/or held me accountable to deadlines" of when I would do certain things.  It helped a lot but man did I procrastinate on somethings that I wasn't ready to address.  

I discovered this link and maybe this will help you if you are feeling like you need to talk to someone about things going on in your life.  Whether its work stress, social pressures, family issues, etc. it helps to have an unbiased voice of reason.  I researched the website directory Therapy for Black Girls for Counselors in my area.  

Step 3.  Treating Anxiety

Once it was determined that I was dealing with anxiety and some depression I was determined that I WAS NOT GOING ON ANY PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION.  I had read too many bad things online about side effects, etc.  I was adamant if I needed something to level me off, that it would be a natural supplement.  After much trial & error and many supplements later I've found my mix that works for me perfectly.  Its not something that I take daily only when I feel anxiety creeping up on me.  These supplements work literally within 15-30  minutes of taking them.  

Anxiety Supplement - Calm Now

Focus & Clarity - Neuro Peak

Let's face it we all have trouble focusing at times & when I have those days this supplement helps tremendously.  I especially take this one when I travel because road & air travel, you have to be on your A game for sure!  

I recently was recommended to this Vitamin B8 Supplement and I have used it  a few times in my morning juice or smoothie.  It has no taste at all but its effective as well.

In closing this has been my journey and I am so thankful for progress.  I don't know why God chose for it to come out at this point in my life but I know that it was for a reason.  I have learned that I am stronger than I think and I am a fighter even when I want to fight solo and decline help from anyone.  Sometimes you have to exercise your own faith in God and not man with their opinions, was it lonely at times, YES but was it worth it now that I am on the other side... YES!  

**Product Links:  I am not affiliated with any of the supplement companies mentioned in this post.  All products were purchased with my own money & not supplied for product review.** 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Personal Style Survey | Andrea Latrice Style

We are 3 weeks into 2018 Wow can you believe it? I am kicking off this year with a lot of goals for my business & also for potential Style clients. 

Would you be so kind and complete the short Style survey to help me provide better social media style inspiration but also gauge who my Style friends are on this page! I will be giving away a $50 Amazon Giftcard to a random survey participant that completes the survey. The giveaway will end on January 26, 2018! 
Survey link: 

Feel free to share this post with your friends and family that's been thinking of working with a Personal Stylist!

Winter Style | My Top Faux Fur Coat Picks for Winter

Happy Saturday!  It has been a cold week in Nashville this week and truthfully I love the look of coats, but the bulkiness I can do without. Personally I am more of a vest or wrap type of woman if we are being honest.

This week having been stuck inside due to snow and ice, I have been cruising the internet for current style pieces and the coats this season are impressive.  I am especially loving the faux fur coats that give off a bit of glam and elegance.  As many of you know I can shop just about anywhere from Goodwill to Nordstrom but while surfing Amazon, I decided to search Faux Fur Coat Women and to my surprise there was some really funky (means great) styles!  What I loved even more was the price point for many of these faux fur beauties many of them under $40.  Also as a helpful style tip, be sure to check out the size chart either for the designer or Amazon to ensure that you purchase the correct size.

My style question for you is are in into the faux fur trend this season, whether its a coat, stole, etc.?

Pink Faux Fur Fuzzy Coat  (I love this in brown also)

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Self Care Sunday | Living in my Truth | Dealing with Grief + Anxiety

Happy Self Care Sunday everyone!  Every week I attempt to focus on self care for myself, its so important to pour back into yourself after a long week.  Many times I know for me personally I am   pulled in various directions, asked to do & be so many things for so many people that recharging is very necessary.

This week I am sharing a personal truth in what the last 6 months in 2017 has looked like for me.  It has been one of the toughest seasons of my life but I do think that I am getting a handle on everything.  I've thought about this day for a while now in really sharing this truth and the shear thought of it, made me physically sick.  So I am thankful that I've even been able to get this far into this post with the intention to share my truth.

My Truth:

{Sigh} When I was 5 years old, (in kindergarten) my biological father committed suicide. {Sigh}
As a child his death was not really talked about at all.  My parents were a very young couple when they had me, and he was 24 when he chose to end his life.  Growing up in Kentucky in a small town suicide was not what you really discussed especially in the African American community.  I remember growing up especially through my teens that I would ask questions about him, but was given very little information. Maybe it was my families way to protecting me, I don't know.   To be honest I did not remember much about him since it happened when I was so young.  Still to this day I have very faint memories but nothing really stands out for me.  I was never really close to his side of the family after his death.  If I were ever around them, it was because my Mother wanted me to know them, but I never felt a connection with them because I did not feel connected to him.
All I knew was the life with my mother who remained a single mother until I was 10 when she married my step father, who has always treated me like his own child.  There were times during their dating process that I was determined not to like him even though I didn't have a reason BUT I knew he wasn't my father. I didn't know how to feel about "this man" coming around all the time and taking my mothers attention from me.  I have always been a very quiet and private person maybe because I was an only child for 10 years but in saying that when I had something to say, it was and possibly still is true that I am very "Matter of Fact".  I could tell you some stories...but I won't!

If you recall earlier I mentioned I did ask about my biological father growing up, but never really received alot of information.  I don't know if it was because my Mother was still grieving but after a while, I just stopped asking and stored my feelings about it in a secret place that I never wanted to revisit ever again.  Fast forward  to the present....37 years later for what ever reason that secret place was cracked wide open.  I feel like the last few months God has been preparing me for my future and where he is taking me, I could not succeed with all of these emotions that had been bottled up for all those years.

My Heart Cracked Open:

In May 2017, I was leaving a clients house after a style fitting and for some reason my biological father came to my spirit.  Not sure where & why but it did and from that day I wasn't able to shake thoughts of him or the lack there of.  I wasn't sure how I was feeling but it was a very unsettling feeling and I didn't know what to do  about it so I prayed.  "God please reveal to me where this is coming from and why now?"   I mean I was doing so  well in working with my style clients and building relationships with people in the style industry and then BOOM this hit me like a ton of bricks.

It was grief, I was finally grieving my biological father  and from the months of  May - September 2017 I have literally experienced every form of grief there is & many feelings are still hard for me to put into words.  I was very angry that he left me and my mother, I was sad, I felt like he was a coward & very selfish to go out like that.  All of those 37 years of bottled up emotions were staring me right in the face and I literally shut down.  So I ran for a while, I closed myself off from friends and family, I traveled hoping to get clarity but also to rest.  During these months I really saw who my friends were because you know what they say, about strong people in your life, "people always assume that everything with them is alright and they have everything under control."  I am here to tell you that is a lie from the pit of hell.  I am so grateful for 3 girlfriends in particular that noticed my shift in personality and pulling away and I finally opened up to what I was experiencing, to this day they have held me down and I will forever be grateful for the love and support.  I keep my circle small for this very reason.

One of the hardest things for me to deal with was the anger & the fact that I was experiencing alot of anxiety which later what I now understand was paired with depression.  We often times play with the words "I am so depressed" but listen those words have a new meaning for me.  There were days I physically felt chained to my bed, I didn't care about much of anything I was just in my feelings.  I had always heard of people with anxiety and depression but never really experienced any of that personally.   It was at that point the stress from all of this was taking a toll on my body, I knew it was time to seek help....

Therapy Changed My Life:

Toward the end of June I was scrolling around the MyTaughtYou Podcast Discussion Group by  (Myleik Teele) on Facebook and someone had posted a a link to a Therapist for Black Girls Directory.  Could this be my answer, and a step toward my healing from all this grief?  I was very apprehensive about seeking counseling because again like suicide, mental health wellness is something that is a very taboo topic especially in the African American community.  However it is definitely something that we all need to talk about among our circle of friends and also family.  So many times people just tell you to "Pray & take it to the Lord" but the Lord also allowed qualified professionals to be trained in the counseling industry to help also.

So I took the leap and called for my first appointment and it was hard, but when I left it was like a load was lifted off of my shoulders.  Finally I felt a sense of relief and could learn how to channel all of these emotions.  During this time I was still running, I didn't know how to tell my mother still how I was feeling so through a few of my sessions we walked through what that would look like.  I need structure and I don't like surprises at least not that kind.  I felt like I had to be very prepared to deal with the conversation that I had been dodging for months.  Its my very Type A personality for sure!  I won't go into what happened but trust me, it did not go anything like "my plan" & it was one of the hardest conversations I've ever had to have and I literally got sick afterwards from the flood of emotions. However I felt better because that was another weight that was lifted off of my shoulders.

So here I am today, on this Self Care Sunday, I am feeling more like myself, very productive and very little signs of grief.  The anxiety will try to creep in from time to time but its all mind over matter.  I have always during this process stayed firm that I did not want to be on any anxiety medication and I was blessed to have found 2 all natural gluten free supplements that I take when I feel a little uneasy or anxious.  Writing this blog post was one of my milestones in my healing process that I committed to in counseling and being at the end now...this is another load that has been lifted off of my shoulders!

 I am so blessed & grateful.  I hope that by me sharing my story that it may help someone that is dealing with learning how to handle grief & anxiety. Seeking counseling is one of the best gifts that I have given to myself.  We have to lift each other up & support one another.  I don't know much, but what little I do know if you need some assistance I would be more than happy to direct you to the things that have helped me along my journey!

Peace & Blessings...A. Latrice

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Minimalist Style | Capsule Wardrobe

Saturday Style Tip • Have you ever considered updating your style to incorporate a more Capsule Wardrobe or minimalist way of dressing? 

Capsule Wardrobes are simply removing the clutter from your existing closet & simplifying your entire wardrobe to a select number of pieces to mix and match into different looks? 

The secret is finding balance & realizing that you can incorporate color if you choose to have a capsule wardrobe. In the beginning most people considered being a minimalist as dressing in basic colors like black, grey & white but to create your own flavor to your personal capsule wardrobe I suggest incorporating a signature color that looks great on your skin tone. We all have a signature color. 

What are some questions that you have about Capsule & Minimalist Wardrobe Style? Have you considered it? I would love to hear from you.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Style Quote | Tom Ford

Style Chat • Let's have an honest check, it's Thursday morning, how confident do you feel about what you are wearing at work today? 

We ALL have our 'Shlumpadinka' (Thanks Auntie @Oprah) days but on average how many days per week do you go to work or client meetings feeling confident about your look? 

What's one thing you would love to update about your current style? 
Inquiring minds want to know!  For style inquiries or collaborations:

Monday, August 7, 2017

Mens Style Monday | Whats Men's Accessories do you rock?

Men's Style Monday • Accessories are huge for women but let's face it men can take it to another level. "You have gadgets & gizmos a plenty" (the women will catch that 😂).... Ok Focus. 

Male accessories are quite different and sometimes a little more extra when you include technology. 
So my question for the guys tonight + ladies with husbands or boyfriends....What's your significant others favorite accessories? Is it socks, lapel pins, colored handkerchiefs, bow/neckties, timepieces OR technology?

If you are looking to create a cohesive look for the office and your overall professional style, contact me to schedule a personal consultation & to schedule an in store shopping trip.  They are painless & I am often told by clients pretty fun!