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.   www.AndreaLatriceStyle.com

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:  www.AndreaLatriceStyle.com

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!  www.AndreaLatriceStyle.com

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Editorial Style | Is Everything Black and White?

I love styling editorial pieces because its allows my creativity to flow much different than styling a business professional or bride.  Style is Creative, Style is Transformative, Style is Life!












Creative Team:  #model • @hannahmiscal • Reps @amaxagency @onyxmodelmamagement• Photog: @LaurenAthalia • Beauty: @SheritaLeslie • Wardrobe: @ALatriceStyles • Assistant: @Misswhitneyraquel

For Personal, Bridal & Editorial Style Inquiries please contact me at www.AndreaLatriceStyle.com 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Vacation Style From Day to Night

Can you believe Summer is almost coming to an end?  I mean where did the time go?  Packing for a vacation can be challenging because you have to consider the weather & also other elements.  You also have to consider how much room you have within your luggage.  Lets face it these luggage fees can get expensive if you aren't flying Southwest Airlines



Style Tip if you know that you are going on a relaxing weekend getaway, you can easily change up your look from day to night with simply changing your shoes and bottoms.  With this look the first inspiration is for a day of sightseeing with a simple wedge sandal & shorts or cropped pants.  Inspiration #2:  Can be a look for the evening by changing to heels and white wide leg slacks.



For assistance with travel style shopping/packing or to develop your own personal style, contact www.AndreaLatriceStyle.com 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself...Andrea Latrice Style


 Friday Introductions |  Allow me to reintroduce myself...Hi I am A. Latrice of Andrea Latrice Style formerly known as Opulent Couturier(OpulentCouture on social media). I am a Stylist/Style Strategist residing in Nashville Tennessee & originally from Kentucky. I am a true southern woman with city flair. •I love a good full skirt, great shoes, Kentucky BBQ, UK Wildcats basketball + a real southern gentleman. I also love listening to a good book my most recent audiobook was by @cthagod #blackprivilege it was excellent. I also love random trips to @Target & the beauty supply store of all places. Don't judge me.

I started my business in 2008 as Bridal Opulence solely focusing on wedding planning. I decided to change my company name to Opulent Couturier in 2011-12 because I recognized that I also had a passion for bridal style. I have worked over 20+ years in Retail Management and it was easy to incorporate my big box Retail experience into my business. I love style of all types it never gets old to me. 

In 2017 I decided to do my "Final Company Rebrand/name change" to Andrea Latrice Style. It was extremely scary because for so long you get comfortable behind a "company name". If I use Andrea Latrice....ummm That's me. So with much prayer, girl chats, hours at my laptop the brand was created. I pulled the trigger and launched my new website and brand. It's been the best decision I could have made for myself, confidence in my business & just overall where I want to stand & be seen in the creative marketplace. I am passionate about working with the everyday busy business professional on defining their look for the office, special occasions or even their wedding. 
I am Andrea Latrice & it's always Classic • Effortless • Style. 📷: @rishaleondra  www.AndreaLatriceStyle.com