Let's Get Candid: What's The Harm in a Little Lie?

September 22, 2018



Earlier this week on my stories I asked you guys what you thought about me starting a new series discussing some every day musings that I find to be controversial.  You guys overwhelming voted yes!  I don't want to oversell this series or even call it a series just yet.  For the time being I am going to store these entries under mindfulness because these are just a "slice of life" stuff.  There are no right or wrong answers.  You might have a very strong reaction to the topics that can go either way.  For me, it's not so clear and that is partly why I am sharing it on here and throwing it under mindfulness.  These are thought provoking to me and I want to start the discussion with you.  Shall we?

To kick off this series I would like to discuss the little white lie.  What is the harm in a little white lie?  I mean we all do it right?  It is sort of how our society functions because if we were really free to tell people exactly how we felt, when we felt it, well society, as we know it, would cease to exist.  I mean imagine being able to tell that co-worker who is a negative Nancy just where to put her constant negative sentiments?  Or what about when your friend goes to a lot of trouble to make you dinner for a ladies night and it's too salty or too bland or whatever, you don't want to hurt her feelings so you smile and suffer in silence.  Those are really nice examples of when we tell little white lies.  Both of those scenarios you might fear a confrontation or tears or whatever the fear is that is leading you to not be honest with the people around you.  But let's flip that around, what if you told that negative Nancy how negative they really were and the impact it has on you, your coworkers and the overall office morale?  Yes, they might be hurt, but this might be an opportunity for self reflection especially if you are telling them from a place of love.  They might be completely oblivious to their energy.  Its possible.  And what if you told your friend to pass you the salt?  I mean they might not blink an eye, they might say to you, "oh should I have added more salt? I wasn't sure.  That is good to know for the next time around."  I mean that isn't so bad right?  Still its scary because we tend to lean towards worse case reactions.  But maybe that's on us.  Maybe we are projecting our fears or past experiences onto them?  Just a thought.  Not convinced? Going to stick with the little white lies? Fine.

In those scenarios, no harm no foul.  But what about when it is damaging to you or to someone you love? For example, what if your partner really, really enjoyed doing something that you thought was sort of silly and a waste of time but you didn't let on and just went with it but as time progressed this "thing" they enjoyed is now something they love and because you have been doing this with them they think you love it too or at least you loved seeing them happy enough to sacrifice a bit of your time to continue to do it with them.  Is that bad?  Have you created a situation that is no longer sustainable?  Who do you have to be fair to?  Yourself?  Your partner?

I don't know the answers.  What do you think?  Is honesty always the best policy? Maybe it would help to understand the reasons why you lied to begin with.   We lie because we don't want to disappoint, hurt or engage in conflict.  Or sometimes we lie because we want to be the "good guy".  The person being lied to is none the wiser and at the moment just a  victim of your lie.  But now this lie is coming to roost.  You are going to have to face your deepest fear, the what if.  Do you tell the truth?  Do you continue with the little white lie?  Is that even an option now?

I want to hear from you.  How do you feel about little white lies? Are they harmless?  Tell me in the comments below.

Don't forget to subscribe and follow me on instagram.

Until next time πŸ’‹

LifeStyledbyErica

One Dress; Styled Three Ways

September 16, 2018


Target is not my go-to shopping site, I don't even really browse their site for cothes.  You know you have certain sites you stalk when you are in the market for certain items.  Target is my go-to for home decor, never style that is until I found this dress!  This dress is from their WhoWhatWear collection and I knew I had to add it to my dress collection.  When I make a purchase I think about its versatility.  I need my clothes to do double duty.  I knew this dress could be styled for a date night or special event, girl's night and even for work, so I put this baby in my cart and the rest is history!

LOOK 1 - Special Event 

The shape, print and length of the dress makes it perfect for an evening look.  It is a fun departure from an all black dress which is classic but sometimes lacks character.  Also a lot of women stick with black for evening events, lets break out of that and stand out a bit.  This animal print is on trend this season, I mean I see polka dots but someone said it looks like cow spots. lol What do you think?




Look 2 - Ladies Night/Date Night

Whatever your pleasure this dress can be given a little edge with a great leather moto jacket like the studded one I styled it with here.  Keep on the strappy heels and hand bag for a pop of color and some (more) visual interest.






LOOK 3 - Wear to Work

If I told you once I have told you a thousand times, a blazer goes with EVERYTHING!  This dress can easily be transitioned  into a daytime look with a blazer,  pair of pumps, and a work tote.  I actually wore this dress to work on Thursday.  It was a big a day for me because I was hosting some donors.  This dress took the stress off of figuring out what to wear.  The print screams powerful and confident, dont you think?  Well lets just say the donors were very pleased and I think we will continue to have a strong relationship for years to come. I mean I don't want to give all the credit to the outfit but feeling confident in my own skin didn't hurt. πŸ’‹






Shop My Look 




I hope you enjoyed this post.  Don't forget to subscribe + follow along on instagram

Until next time..

LifeStyledbyErica 

A Behind the Scenes Peek at How We Create For LifeStyledByErica

September 14, 2018


When I started this blog in October of 2016 and I had not a clue what I was doing.  I knew my why, but I didn't know my how, but I jumped in anyway.  I thought it would be a hobby, I thought I could "half ass it" and still accomplish greatness.  I was wrong.  Those bloggers who are doing great things work their arses off.  To believe that I could write one post every two weeks or engage on instagram without a plan whenever I had a cute picture and still grow my platform like those other bloggers was an illusion.  The truth is I am still very much learning, that is one of the things I love about my blog!  I am constantly challenged to learn how to move the needle.

The last few weeks I have gotten into a groove with my shoots, instagram aesthetic and blog posts and I am feeling really good about it.  I have been writing no less than 2 blog posts a week (consistency is key), planning ahead, editing and posting a photo on my feed every morning at the same time (it is important to figure out a time to post and stick to that schedule so people come to expect it , again consistency is key. 7am works for me because I am having my first cup of coffee before starting my day before all the crazies happen).  Slowly but surely I have fallen into a groove that works for me and I am already seeing results.  Just this week I was asked by a fellow blogger starting out, "how do you post pictures everyday?" I was flattered and thought to myself, why is she asking me?? What makes me qualified?  I have about 3500 followers on instagram and a modest amount of traffic to my blog then it hit me, people are taking notice of my work, enough so, to ask about MY process.  I LOVE reading other ladies who are putting in the work to make their passions a reality so I thought I would share my process to help some of you who might be interested in moonlighting in a passion project while working a 9-5, managing a home and family etc.



1) Fully Commit 

When I started this blog I was excited but also apprehensive.  I didn't want to come off shallow, vein or tone death.  I thought people irl wouldn't take me seriously if they knew I had an interest in fashion and a blog to boot!  I also didn't want to just push consumerism.  Then I realized, I have a unique voice.  I am neither shallow nor vein and women can enjoy fashion and still be "serious" and smart, the two weren't mutually exclusive.  The other eureka moment was I can mix my love for fashion with posts that inspire me and my readers.  I can share my outlook on life and the same advice I share with my closest friends with all of you!  This adjustment has reignited my passion for my blog.  I know that the only way my blog will grow is when I do.   Anything you are passionate about pursuing should be taken as seriously as a paid job.  I mean its your life and your happiness on the line here and you never want to live with the regret of never trying.  And when you do go for it give it your all, otherwise what is the point?  Yes it will be hard, no you aren't going to be an overnight success but that is ok.  I actually prefer it that way.  I love putting in the work. πŸ˜€

2) Creating Content

Now we have the commitment locked down.  What is next?  A plan and execution!  I am still working on this part although we are getting somewhere, again it takes time.  My loving and supportive husband takes all of my photos.  Before we head out to shoot we will spend some time looking at some photography inspo and talk about it.  This is important, you need a plan and you should share it with your photographer so they have it in mind when they shoot.

We typically shoot on the weekends and between changing outfits and locations I would say it takes us about an hour to an hour and half to shoot.  I plan a minimum of three looks (usually a workwear style and a weekend look), pack a bag, load up the car and head to the location.  Sometimes I have a location in mind, sometimes my hubby does.  Something I am trying to be more mindful about is the "look" I am trying to achieve.  Depending on the look I've styled, I might want more of a cityscape with storefronts like here or a more gritty style we will look for a location that is more casual or industrial like here . I am still learning how to have a holistic approach to our work, it is after all a form of art and no I am not kidding.  It is being mindful and giving 100% of my energy into honing my craft and feeding my creativity.



3) Research and Feedback

After we shoot, my husband and I will sit at a local Starbuck's (he gets paid in iced coffees, lol) and review the pictures we have just taken.  We will discuss our hits and our misses.  Again, we aren't professionals, we are learning as we go.  My husband is an amateur, self taught photographer, he is learning how to work with locations, angles, light, background.  He is also learning how important paying attention to the subject's details can be for example, if my shirt is bunched or my collar isn't even from changing in the car in between shoots (no, it isn't all glamorous😜), or I have got lipstick on my teeth and he doesn't notice, those pictures are unusable.  He is also learning how to direct me and I am finally learning how to be directed.😁This is for another post because when we first started I was the most difficult to shoot, we would argue and it was just generally unpleasant.  I am learning to trust him.  He understands what I am trying to create, he sees my vision and tries his hardest to help me realize it.  It is a process, it is not just a matter of taking a few pictures.  We put in the work.  We are perfectionists, we want to create great stuff.



4) Writing 

Now when it comes to writing for the blog, I take my work seriously.  I know that people enjoy pretty photos, I know I do!   But I also enjoy bloggers of substance and I know that my audience enjoys that too.  I am not only a fashion blogger, I am a lifestyle blogger.  I am sharing my unique voice with you and building a relationship with my readers.  I am creating a space of inspiration, lightheartedness but also empowerment and self love.  That is important and meaningful to me.  

Logistically speaking: If you follow me on instagram then you might remember in late July I took the plunge and invested in a planner!  That's right, I said it.  I knew that if I was going to take this to the next level I needed to be more methodical and accountable.  I carry this planner around with me everywhere in case I get hit with a topic idea and those can come from anywhere.  I am constantly thinking about bringing real life value to my readers through the content I create.  For example this summer my husband and I set a savings goal in order to purchase a new car, yay!  I was able to save $4K in 3 months and it hit me why don't I breakdown how I did that and I shared it in this post. Or after meeting up with a few friends and recognizing a pattern of discussion on the topic of toxic friendships, I thought I have been blessed with incredible friends and that didn't just happen to me.  It took me all of my twenties to understand how to be a good friend and what a good friend looks like, so I shared this post on identifying the bad friendships.  Typically on the weekend I will plan some topics I would like to write about that week and take into consideration work and social obligations and plan a writing schedule around that and STICK to it! Discipline is key here, no excuses. Yes I have long days beginning with a hour and half worth of traffic going into the office and an hour trying to get home but again this is something I love doing so I make the time for it.



Shop this look


That is all for now.  I think I will save my "lessons learned" for another post.  But I have a question for you?  What are you passionate about?  What is it that you always wanted to do but haven't dared or haven't been able to find the time? Share below!

Thanks for reading and don't forget to subscribe and follow me on instagram.

Until next time. πŸ’‹

By LifeStyledbyErica


Hair Update: Snip, Snip

September 10, 2018


Hello fam! This past May, after using Sugar Bear Hair gummies for months to grow my hair (btw they WORK!!),  I decided to chop a few inches for an ever so chic bob.  I know what you are thinking, huh? You invested in hair growing vitamins to just cut it all off? Well yes and here is why.  I love long, beautiful hair but I LOVE a short cut.  There is something so powerful and chic about going short.  You are an immediate standout in a crowd and I LOVE making an impression.  There are so many examples of powerful women who just chop off their hair which after a while can feel like a second job and a line item on your expense report.  Am I right ladies?

I am fortunate to have found the best hair stylist I have ever met (and believe me I have gone through my fair share).  When you have a hairstylist like mine, you are ALWAYS in good hands.  After rocking a bob that I loved all summer, I decided I was ready to go a little shorter still.  This past Saturday I sat in my hairstylist's Blertta's chair and said, "let's go shorter!" She smiled and said how short? I knew I wanted the cut to hit me right at my jawline so we decided an inch and a half with some layering in the back.  Not only does she have the steadiest hands needed for a blunt cut, she is also a talented colorist.  Scroll down for some close ups of color and length.







COLOR: Caramel Balayage lowlights - warm tones ombre
Check out Blertta's work here .
GianCarlo Hair Studio  Bronx, NY

What are your thoughts? Thinking of going shorter?  DO IT, whats stopping you?!!

Until next time,

by LifeStyledbyErica πŸ’‹

Fall Trend: Mad About Plaid Menswear Edition

September 9, 2018






Own your power ladies! I have been teasing this suit for two weeks now on my instagram and now I finally blogged about it. It is no secret,  I love a great suit and I shared tips on how to shop for and rock a power suit here.  Suits are effortless and endlessly versatile.  This plaid pattern is big this fall and believe it or not these are separates that happened to work together.  Double breasted jackets are a must this fall but the silhouette can be a little boxy so I mixed it up with a lace bra-lette for a little peek-a-boob action.  Mixing fem and masculine can be such a fun and interesting twist to any look.  There is nothing wrong with owning your femininity ladies.


Shop this Look





Thanks for reading loves.  I have so much fun content planned, don't miss out! Subscribe to my blog babes and share!

Until next time,

LifeStyledbyErica πŸ’‹

The Circle You Keep: 4 Types of Toxic Friendships

September 5, 2018



We can all agree, friends can be great!  They are the family we pick, they make the world go round, we get by with a little help from our friends...ok are we done with all the euphemisms now?  Your happiness is influenced by the people you choose to surround yourself with, period.  Sure, happiness is an inside job but we can't do it alone.  Think about a time you felt inspired to make a positive change in your life, you might have seen someone else or read something somewhere and decided that was what you wanted to do.  We are influenced by others and that is why the people you choose to call friends are so important because this becomes your reality, your circle, your little corner of the world.  I love my friends and in my lifetime I have been lucky enough to cross paths with some amazing people I am fortunate to call friends.



First a little about me.  This might surprise you but I can be defined as an introvert.  I can be a lot of fun and outgoing but also be very reserved and observant.  I don't like small talk, I prefer depth over noise.  I have never been afraid of walking away from anything or anyone that no longer served me.  If you read my I am a Bad Mom series then you know I walked away from an abusive relationship at the age of 20 with a new baby in tow.  I don't have the best relationship with my family (that is for another post) so my friends are really my family.  If I am able to walk away from toxic, unproductive and destructive familial relationships you better believe I have no time or fear of walking away from a bad friend.  Friendships are very important to me.  I am selective in who I invest my time and energy in.  I have gone through my share of friendships, some great, some not so great, all taught me valuable lessons.  Which leads me to what lead to this blog post, recently I have met up with a few friends and there has been a common thread in our conversations, toxic friendships.  The friends I have talked to didn't identify these friends as toxic or bad but the issues they describe are concerning. It hit me, not everyone knows what a bad friend looks like.   Have you heard of frenemies?  They are your friends but sometimes they are your enemies? Yeah, I don't understand it either but I think just like in romantic relationships we accept the love we think we deserve and sometimes we sell ourselves short.

Now before I jump into this post I want to be clear, toxic friendships or toxic people are not evil people.  They are damaged people (aren't we all?) but it is worse than just having issues, they actively play out these unresolved issues in their relationship with you.  They make you feel bad about yourself, doubt yourself, they don't respect you, manipulate you, compete with you or try to control you.  Drama is always in the mix.  Crazy right? You are probably thinking, "well I would know that and wouldn't have any part in it" and for some that is true but for others these signs are so subtle you might not even realize it when it is happening.  So allow me to share with you 4 types of toxic friends.

1) Ms./Mr. Taker

This is the friend who takes up all your time with their "problems".  They will go on and on and you will listen, thats friendship right? Sure, but what about when you find yourself with a "problem"?  Can you count on them to be there for you in your time of need?  Are they able to be there for you?  And on the flip side, are they able to rejoice in your accomplishments?

2) Ms./Mr. Controller

This is the friend who is there for you at your lowest and your weakest, great right?  I mean we all need someone to be there for us during those low times but this friend feels like you "owe" her. She has nursed you like a baby bird and now you owe your life to her for her time and investment.  Every decision you make once the bad times are over, should be ran by and approved by her.  She will judge your decisions or remind you of the bad times.  Like, "oh remember what so and so did to you? Don't go and do that..it will just happen again and what are you going to do??"  You might think to yourself well my friend is looking out and ok, maybe that one time heart to heart is warranted and appreciated but it is YOUR life.  Your choice, your mistake.   A good friend will be there for you regardless and without judgement or conditions.  And remember this too.  Some people really thrive on other people's misery, they prefer you broken and weak because in some twisted way it makes them feel better about their situation (which btw they aren't happy in).  I swear to you I have met my fair share of these types of people.  They are real and they are out there and often times completely unaware of themselves.

3) Ms./Mr. Negative 

OMG this friend is so draining.  They can't see good in anything.  They are in a rut and don't know how to get out of it so they get others caught in their web of misery.  They plow through your life like a junky lawn mower and just undermine your dreams, your goals, everything.  They are quick to point out why it won't work out or why you shouldn't pursue a goal.  They don't trust people, they don't trust themselves ugh I am exhausted just writing this one.  Now here is the deal, are you a dreamer?  Are you an optimist floating around in orbit?  Great, there is nothing wrong with this outlook.  Dream BIG baby!  What you don't need is a ball and chain around your ankle pulling you down.  You need someone who is going to dream with you, find ways to help you, encourage you, inspire you.  That is the kind of friend you need. We all do. :)

4) Ms./Mr. Shade Thrower 

Now we have come this far and while number 3 was a pain in the arse, this "friend" is my biggest peeve.  You aren't perfect, shocker!  You are a work in progress, always evolving, growing and learning about yourself through your relationships with others. You will make mistakes, you will hurt people, you will mess up.  A good friend will let you know immediately or soon there after when you have hurt them.  They will value you and trust you enough to communicate when you have hurt them.  A toxic friend won't be able to do this.  They would rather drag it out, act it out, leaving you in a state of confusion and distress, pulling out your hair, thinking over every conversation trying to decipher what you might have said, did or didn't do that offended them.  (I am literally pulling my hair out right now😱😱).  I can't begin to tell you how awful living in this space can be, you don't deserve that, no one does.  Sure, conflict can be difficult but the only way past it is through it, in active conversation and mutual understanding.  Friendships are work, there will be bumps but "throwing shade" creating drama won't resolve it they will just add fuel to the fire.  As I use to tell my 2 year old toddler, "use your words."


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I hope this was illuminating.  Please share far and wide, because we all deserve good friends in our corner!  Don't forget to subscribe!

Until next time. πŸ’‹

by LifeStyledbyErica 

Thrift Like a BAWSS With These Top 4 Sites

September 1, 2018



Happy September! I know, I can't believe it too.

We have become a "throw-away" society.  Labor is exploited, clothes are cheap, trends change with the seasons, not to mention with social media we might feel like we can't be seen wearing the same thing twice (heaven forbid 😳).  Actually that last one is not something I believe at all but some do.  Clothes are an investment we make and of course we should wear them over and over.  I have been thrifting for over two years now and I am STILL amazed with my finds, their like-new quality and not to mention the money I save AND the fact that I am helping the planet (its a great way to recycle).  I have scoured the internet and will now list my top four thrifting sites!

1) ThredUp



This site is definitely my go to and I talk all about why here. Thredup buys and sells used clothes I have bought AND sold clothes with thredup.  Both without any complaints.  Their site is fun, modern and easy to navigate.  One negative, you don't get a refund on the stuff you return, you get a credit on the site which isn't so bad because I buy on their so frequently but still I don't like not having an option. Sorry, thredup.  I am sure you have your reasons.

2) Poshmark 



Unlike ThredUp, Poshmark doesn't buy or sell the clothes, instead it is a marketplace where sellers come to post their closet items and buyers come to buy from those sellers.  Buyers are able to rate the sellers in their service, delivery and quality of clothes sold.  As a result their site isn't as cool to browse as thredup is since the lighting and the style is all uniformed, poshmark is not.  Some of the clothes can look a little "shady".  I purchased this GAWGEOUS blazer that I am wearing in this post. I love it! It is the perfect addition to my closet.  I missed it when Zara was selling it so I was soo happy to find it here.

3) Tradesy



In the market for a designer bag? Shoes? Or clothes? without designer prices?  Tradesy has got you covered!  You can buy and sell your high end pieces on this site and unlike poshmark, Tradesy enhances your pictures so your pieces can move quickly and they ship you a pre-paid, pre-addressed shipping supplies, easy right?  Cost? They charge you a flat fee of $7.50 on items sold for under $50 and 19.8% commission on $51 and above.  This is a great site to go treasure hunting on, they carry THE most beautiful dresses and handbags that I have ever seen.

4) ASOS Marketplace


Have you shopped on asos before? Asos is definitely my go-to place for unique styles, cuts and fits at a great price point but did you know they had a "marketplace"?  Asos Marketplace houses awesome vintage pieces and a huge variety of other clothing from more than 1000 boutiques.  Great pieces from independent designers and individual sellers.  If you didn't know, consider yourself schooled!




Shop my look( with the exception of the bag and skirt, all thrifted!)



There you have it, my go-to thrifting sites.  I hope you found this helpful and enlightening.  Until next time, don't forget to share and subscribe!  

By LifeStyledbyErica πŸ’‹

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