My FAVORITE swimsuit EVER!

Swimwear is tricky for everyone! I have never met anyone who could easily find one to fit, or found one immediately that they just loved!! Tops are too small, bottoms too big, vice versa or the dreaded one piece!

It’s taken me YEARS… and when I say years, I’m talking 10+ to find a bathing suit that I absolutely adore. I’ve tried the tankini, high waisted bikini’s, swim dresses or shorts and just about every one piece I could find. Target was usually where I stumbled upon something that would get me through the season, but you know as well as I do that the fit was far from perfect!!

I’m 31 years young, 161 pounds, size 10 pants and a 34D bra… all this stacked on a 5’1” frame! I’m a funny shape to say the least with a few areas that I’m not comfortable flaunting in a two-piece.  I’ve always been open about my mummy tummy and it’s definitely a situation in a swimsuit!!!! No matter how much weight I lose it demands attention… no matter how hard I try to disguise it. So let’s talk about options:

Tankini’s
Being on the vertically challenged side I’ve never felt comfortable in a tankini. I think they look amazing on women who are taller and especially those who can rock it a little short, breaking up the top and the bottom. Of course this defeats the purpose of the tankini I imagine because if I wanted my belly to show – I’d be wearing a two piece bikini for sure. Needless to say, I’ve worn them. Usually here I develop the beloved ‘uniboob’ or just look 10lbs heavier from the fabric in the front, especially after it gets wet.

High Waist Bikini
I had HIGH hopes for this… seriously. I ordered a ton when they became a thing! I thought this was going to be my saving grace and I would finally go to the beach with confidence! Bye, bye to the self-conscious cloud following me around in my usual swimsuit that was meant for someone at least 20 years older than me. Upon arrival I ran home and threw on the first of many high waisted bikini’s I’d try on that night… I kept one. I actually still have this one and it was not until I saw photos of myself in said bikini that I realized something… it was not for me. Cut me in half and the top was perfect! The bottom however made my bootay look humungous and NOT in a good way. Like it went on for dayysss. And from the front, it just cut me in half. I’m already short… I need length.

One Piece Suits
This is where it gets tricky. I need a thicker suit usually with a little tummy control. Queue the miracle suit. Again, at this time I’m in my 20s and do NOT want to be looking for a swimsuit in the same sections as my grandmother!! They’re either all full spandex and full bottom or paper thin and a mono-kini. Some featured a skirt, a pair of shorts or let’s not leave out the embellishments. Of course, I need a flower under my boob to distract everyones attention from my pooch! NO!

Needless to say I was SO ready to give up… but I needed a bathing suit, everyone has to have at least one! So Victoria’s Secret was running their semi-annual sale and I decided to order a TON. Out of this mega spree of swimsuits that arrived I again found… ONE. But this suit is what started to give me hope of finding something that was ME, something that I could wear and feel fantastic! It was high-neck, color blocked black (bottom) and white (top) with an open back and it just fit wonderfully. I wore this suit for S I X years.

Fast forward to last year… my suit had served its purpose and needed to be pitched. Of course VS stopped making swimwear and I was lost. I loved that suit and it lasted forever so I knew I’d probably just find a similar one googling something… right?! Wrong.

I booked Chris and I an anniversary cruise and could not wait to celebrate with him and take a well deserved vacation after he returned from a deployment. Ladies I needed a SUIT. I was not ready to settle on a suit that was just going to ‘work’, honneyyy I wanted to WORK a SUIT.

I’d stumbled into Everything but Water with incredible doubt. The last time I was in this store I was 15, shopping with my mom. I had perky boobs, a flat stomach and a much more toned athletic physique. Anyone else wish they could go and slap their teenage self in the face for calling that version of yourself fat?! Anyway, I digress. I was nervous and completely convinced that NOTHING in that store was going to fit me anymore. I could just see an ocean of tiny bikini’s hanging up, racks of strings and skimpy suits and just as I was about to run out, make a clean break… ‘ma’am what brings you in today?’

Shit. I might as well ask, she seems nice. Her name was Patricia (my mothers name or else I promise I’d have forgotten it, I’m horrible with names) and she was so sweet. I told her about my trip and that I was looking for a bathing suit but wanted a one piece. She simply asked my dress size, grabbed 4 without asking me another question and sent me to a fitting room. I hated the colors but honestly at this point I was curious and I was already there…

These suits were sexy, just as quality as I remember and fit extremely well. One by one I put them on and couldn’t believe how different they looked from the hundreds I had tried on elsewhere. She asked how I was doing and I nervously said that I was down to my last one, but I did not think it was going to work. She knew which one I had saved for last and made me promise I’d put it on. That moment changed the swimwear game for me…. FOREVER.

Meet the Becca Crochet One-Piece suit that is EVERYTHING.

Let me tell you why I have this suit in almost every color…. because it’s beautiful, sophisticated and sexy! The quality material keeps everything where it’s supposed to be without the ‘miracle suit’ feel. It’s just well made. The crochet look disguises any problem areas and with the overall slimming pattern of the fabric, you look slimmer! You feel GREAT and confidence is sexy… if you don’t feel good about yourself in a bathing suit you are not going to look it!

I thought this suit on the rack was too revealing and was something that was going to show too much. Then I remembered… it’s a bathing suit. If I was still that athletic toned, flat bellied girl I once was – I’d be wearing a triangle top and a bikini bottom. This suit obviously covers more, but I still feel sexy! I could not believe how much I liked it! When I originally purchased this suit it only came in one color, but luckily they brought it back in a bunch this year! Navy, red, a gorgeous olive green and white! They’ve even spiced up the look with a few alternate styles. I love this suit.

This leads me to the cost. I know you may be thinking that $120-130 may be way too expensive for a swimsuit… but I’ve had the black one – THREE YEARS. It has no rips, it’s not stretched out with the elastic shot and I wear it year round in the hot tub when it’s too cold for the beach! The last suit I purchased for around $40 from Target and it only lasted me the season… if I had to repurchase a suit every year at $40… I’d have spent the same amount as I did for my ONE favorite suit. I take care of it… I rinse it out after wearing and hang dry after washing but it frequently gets worn!!

Treat yourself ladies! Buy yourself a sexy swimsuit!!! Just because you want a one piece does NOT mean that it has to age you or be anything less than everything you want it to be! I’ve linked a few below that are some of my favorites!

SALE ALERT my black suit is on sale at Lord & Taylor for $93!! Shop them below!

Seriously the BEST suit EVER!! Check it out and let me know what you think!

Xo

Overcoming the fear to ‘tuck’…

I have been weary of the tucked in look since I birthed my two children. I have a visible ‘mummy tummy’ and it’s honestly annoying how much I worry about it. Self-conscious is an extreme understatement! Usually I wear tops that cover my pockets and fall mid-zipper to completely hide my stomach entirely. Nothing form fitting and tucked in… are you kidding?! NOPE. I always felt that it accentuated every lump and bump that I was worried about….

Today when I was getting dressed I had envisioned the cutest outfit and when I put it on I realized that the top needed to be tucked in for sure. I always try it, never end up wearing it! Today… I wore it. And I’m SO happy I did!

Today’s outfit has had me glowing all day! This top is from J.Crew last season, but I linked this years version. I currently have it sitting in my cart because I like the no collar look better! Collars tend to get my hair all in a fuss! Chambray is always such a casual clean look and so comfortable that I love wearing it! It’s such a versatile look!

My favorite white denim from Loft of course had to make an appearance… it’s been a while since I’ve worn them! I love these in petite and think that they’re the perfect addition to the chambray top! Always comfortable, completely wash and wearable! Which is a big deal when you’re talking white denim!

I snagged these adorable platform wedges while we lived in Japan and they’re some of my favorites… so well made too! I’ve never been able to locate them online, however I did link some of my favorites down below! I’m on a total neutral wedge think right now honey and I think they’re going to be a constant all summer!

This Loeffler Randall pompom trim circular tote is the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen and just radiates the beachy fun vibes I’m looking for! The tassels are just everything and surprisingly it fits everything I need! Wallet, sunnies and a few lippies! Perfect!

What do you guys think?? Should this momma start rocking the ‘tuck’ again?!

Mantras and staying true to that New Years Resolution!

Anyone else have a resolution to leave a few bad habits behind in 2017?! How are you doing?? Care to talk about it maybe via first quarter check-in?? Were a few of those habits maybe… self-destructive confidence, being too much of a people pleaser or maybe just being afraid to be 110% YOU!? Girl… all three were on my list and I am proud to say that I am in a better place today than I think I’ve been in 10 years or more. I have plenty of work still ahead and old habits are hard to leave behind, but I’m here to say that I am SO glad to have stuck to it this year. I’m holding myself accountable this year… no restarting again next year… Here’s what I’ve been focusing on and what’s giving me reason to celebrate:

Self-Love and Confidence: This is HUGE. Having unhealthy conversations with yourself or talking poorly about yourself are just going to alter how you see yourself. It places a huge negative weight on you constantly and drags you down a path of destructive physical and mental tendencies. We all know the bad stuff is easier to believe sometimes so when you get here… ladies it’s tough to bounce back.

Ex: Pointing out EVERY NEGATIVE thing you or someone else thinks about… Mentally demeaning yourself with thoughts or assumptions… You might hold onto negative things someone has said about you or situations and repeating them over and over.

People Pleaser: Everyone loves a yes-(wo)man right?! The one who seems to effortlessly pile anything and everything on her plate, no matter if it has anything to do with her or not. The one who can slap a smile on regardless of how shitty she’s being treated! Ladies this is the unhealthiest way to go about it… be a ‘people pleaser-ish’, know when to speak up, say no and put yourself first. There’s nothing wrong with assessing your situation, adjusting your sails and and continuing on utilizing a healthier solution.

Ex: Always backing down… apologizing when there’s no reason to… Going out of your way to please people even if it damages your own situation or negatively impacts you… you never say no and are usually find yourself in one-sided relationships.

Being True to YOU: This one is unique to you obviously… but the behaviors are usually pretty common. Ever wanted to do something, anything but you didn’t because you were afraid of what someone would say? Or maybe you’ve been ridiculed for something in the past and you have a complex about not following ‘the‘ crowd. Maybe you have BIG dreams and think they are impossible because they’re different than the norm…..? The need for approval is out of control and changing the way we think in a horrible way.

Ex: You’ve been amongst others who tear someone else apart for… anything. You feel the need to stay ‘safe’. Maybe lacking in the self-love department keeps you from trying new things. It’s ok to consider opinions of others in some situations, but the opinions of those who matter… should not keep you from doing something that is important to you.

These three things, which I’ll now refer to my heavy hitters, were way ahead of losing weight on my New Years resolutions list and the reason that I stuck with these three together is because they’re connected. At least to me anyway… they seem to collectively cloud my positivity and where I find one, the other two aren’t far behind. So early January I decided I needed a reboot, a serious one. I even stopped drinking… because I wanted only clear thoughts, strong will and my mission heavy on my mind. I got to work:

First, I re-read a book that ignites a serious call to action on my part…. Daring Greatly by Dr. Brene Brown. I’ve probably read it 3-4 times at least and am on my second copy as I couldn’t even find the first. It gave me the confidence boost I needed! Because it’s so easy when you’re feeling low to overlook these heavy hitters and place blame solely on you. It is easiest for you look past the environment you may be in, your habits and changing anything about yourself or the way you think would mean to subject yourself to social torture right?! No… it’s just putting a band-aid on a bomb.

I looked back on the last few years and I found a pretty distinct cycle that was very interesting! Starting with the bandaid, I hit the ground running until a bump in the road knocks me back into the same routine of avoiding conflict, yes man’ing and continuing to move forward with my head down and blinders on refusing to face reality. Until I reach the brink of boiling point… where I applied the band-aid again wondering why the hell I was in the same place… AGAIN.

Sound familiar? While our situations could be completely different… I think this cycle is present with everyone. I think the cycle itself is normal… I just want to lengthen the cycle, make it more constructive and learn from it each time as nobody should be a fan of bad history repeating itself.

Now that I’m equipped with the why… and the courage I was still seeking the how. Which has been tricky because I like things to be more organic or feel as they happen on their own. It’s a natural way to avoiding conflict I know… but it’s also how I’m wired and I’m trying to be ME remember. It was necessary to find a healthier version of a people pleaser, a place of balance. So this part of your how may vary.

I decided to employ these NEW habits… they went a long with the heavy hitter bad ones to make it more simple.

Self-Love and Confidence: Every negative is to be followed with two positives.

People Pleaser: You can’t play ball unless the ball comes back.

Being True to YOU: Anxiety requires action.

I actually laughed as I wrote these out because they just look so simple and I’m sure to some, independently they may already be a given part of their day-to-day. But to me… these were my starting point. Yours can be completely different… but keep it short and sweet, simple. Something you can quickly say to yourself. Your mantras…

Starting with self-love and confidence which has felt so good! You never realize how many times in a day you’re negative towards yourself until you make the conscious effort to following every negative with two positives. I learned this little tip at an adult learning seminar a few years ago and at the time I thought it could probably only be relevant in peer-to-peer situations… but you can’t be reliant on someone else when making these kind of changes. Of course the affirmation is nice from another individual, but it is necessary to learn how to love yourself first no matter how awkward you might feel. Talk yourself up!

This simple action and really practicing it has significantly increased my level of confidence. I think about some of the most confident people I know, they do this naturally… I’m just working at it. Just as some people are naturally physically fit and athletic… I have to work at it! It has brought so much happiness and it’s becoming so organic that now it just happens. Something like a negative… followed by a ‘no, you’re…’.

Now people pleasing… this one hoonnn-eyyy!! It has plagued me for years and I really had to do some research on this one. The common suggestion was of course to ease yourself into more assertive behaviors first in safer situations with less at stake. Situations that aren’t going to ruin relationships or anything, but a healthy way to break the cycle. This gave me a rush of reality that I needed first of all! In these situations I realized that while I assumed one and only one possible outcome (over thinkers say ‘yea’), it actually evoked warm and fuzzies. I could see where over time this would cultivate more respectful relationships and also a healthier level of respect for myself.

In all the research I did, I realized there would be a time where the ‘ball wouldn’t come back’… meaning that some relationships would in fact be cut off. But I have to have the confidence to throw it, respectfully. Without practicing all this together as part of an entire overhaul resolution I wouldn’t have been able to conquer these heavy hitters together, especially this one. But because I am cohesively and consciously attempting to remedy these habits, they’re organically coming along together. Giving me the boost needed to do difficult things with confidence and the ability to continue seeing the big picture. This is the organic, natural outcome that I’ve been seeking.

It’s made the third of the heavy hitters, being mySELF, easier. It’s brought back a few lost quirks, a couple forgotten tendencies and a new found love for who I am. The reason my mantra here was ‘anxiety requires action’ was because I knew that my fears were not realistic. Think about it… anxiety or over thinking can keep you from doing something, right?! And then maybe you get ballsy and just do it… you go ‘that wasn’t so bad’! Through repetition I’m forcing myself to act instead of worry. Like with this post… I’ll post it without even re-reading it… because I’ll find every excuse not to post. Requiring action just means to do it. Regardless of the annoying errors in grammar or whatever, you’ll appreciate the post more than the draft… I hope.

Now don’t read through this as it’s been a life crisis… I respectfully wanted to make a change within myself. No crisis… just realizing that I’m in my early 30’s and seek change in certain areas within own my life and any change should start by taking a good hard look at yourself first! I hear so many people chanting for change, you know you see it too! Many condescendingly preach and judge from their perch, yet they refuse to even peek into their own corner. My corner… that’s what I can change, my corner is what I can control and where I start if I hope to evoke any sort of big change or influence throughout my lifetime.

In the short time I’ve been consistent with this blog, I’ve recieved messages and feedback from those who enjoy what I write and the transparency I have. This means so much, but even if I hadn’t heard a word… I’d still be here! Because I know if I’m thinking anything… someone else does too! No matter if it’s about products, fashion, LIFE… Maybe having similar struggles and the eagerness to bring about change… for you and for myself I share this. Confidently continue on… no matter your resolutions, if they’re not about personal growth or changes, these principles would still apply. You’d still need those mantras to keep you on track! It’s about believing in yourself, loving and OWNING who you are… having confidence is KEY.

See great in yourself, believe in yourself, be kind to yourself… and in doing so, you’ll find it makes it much easier to do the same for someone else.

Xo

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Playing with Color

A quick beauty overview! Today’s look is an everyday favorite! With a new twist… you guys know that MAC Cosmetics, Woodwinked, is my all time favorite eyeshadow. It’s usually holds down the main stage in my day-to-day look. Today I’m playing in Spring looks trying to put in a few pops of unexpected color… queue a super fun purpley, shade – Trax! I’m loving it especially with my Edge to Edge Lip Pencil! They play off each other so well and of course, Hello Spring!! Since I’m so golden I love using pinks and reds with more of a cool blue undertones… this helps to not pull out a yellow glow from my hair and complexion! Something I used to be afraid to even try… but then someone shared the secret and I’m addicted to creamy lip color now! Love pinks with navy blue too!! Details of today’s look down below!

:Make-Up:
(In order of Application)
MAC Cosmetics Prime+Prep Fix+, $26 at MACCosmetics.com
e.l.f Cosmetics Poreless Face Primer, $5.79 at Target.com*
Flash Focus Hydrating Foundation Stick in Light, $34 (ON SALE) at WanderBeauty.com
Younique Mineral Touch Concealer in Scarlett, $29 MishaeMorris.com – Indep. Retailer
Touch Translucent Setting Powder, $39 at MishaeMorris.com – Indep. Retailer
Photo Filter Foundation Powder in 1 (Natural Vanilla), $42 at Smashbox.com
Customizable Eye Shadow Palette w/ 4 Colors, $32 at MACCosmetics.com
-Colors used: Trax, Honey Lust and Shroom
Better Than Sex Mascara, $23 at TooFaced.com (Enjoy 20% Off w/link)*
Contour Kit w/ 6 Shades, $18 at Ulta.com (Comes with Free Gift)
Professional Eyebrow Powder Pencil in Grey, $6.69 at Target.com*
e.l.f Cosmetics Brushes (Starter Kit), $20 at Target.com*
MAC Cosmetics Lip Pencil, Edge to Edge, $17.50 at MACCosmetics.com
Finish it off with another spritz of Fix+!

Standby for todays outfit… I’m in LOOOOOOVE!

Xo,
Kate

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Update // Where From Here?!

I can’t hide the whirlwind that I’ve been working with lately…. Between managing/growing my business, the news of moving this summer, the boys schedules, beginning the design phase of our forever home and starting a journey into becoming landlords…. the past two weeks have been BUSY. I don’t think I would have even made it through if the boys hadn’t been such a big help… thank goodness. But over the last two weeks we’ve made some big progress…

pexels-photo-219249.jpegBiggest news is we’re celebrating the opportunity to keep our first home… Chris & I will venture into making this a long term investment and becoming landlords. Of course this was NOT an easy decision and we met with numerous professionals to make sure we knew what we were doing. And since we’re currently occupying the property it was a task to keep it show ready at a moments notice. We make plenty of memories here full time. Not everyone appreciates the ‘lived in’ look of laundry, dishes from all the cooking I do and the clutter the boys leave strewn all over the house – top to bottom. Finding a photographer, legal consult… finishing all those unfinished projects, just everything at once. Of course doing all this with Chris here and there! But we made it… we had a good amount of interest and think that we’ve made a good decision with the tenants we chose.

Firming up what’s going to happen with the house has allowed for us to make plans though our transition and I couldn’t be more excited about how things will pan out. We’ll turn over our current home in April and move into temporary accommodations until the summer so that the boys can finish out the school year here. It gives me time to sort through what we’ll be taking, selling, organize things… the usual moving prep we all do when it’s ‘that time’. Which I have to say I’ve learned some tricks along the way for sure… some I’ll share because everyone moves and we do what we can to make it as efficient as possible!!

Finally… When the boys are out of school… we’re heading to UAE to spend the summer!!!! Homecoming in REVERSE!!

All the chaos and crazy from the past few weeks… We had one MAIN goal that of course included a lot of moving parts but the goal was to gift the boys a summer abroad. A summer they’re going to remember for the rest of their lives. Reconnecting as a family with Chris and just making memories and celebrating making it through the last year in ONE piece! I can’t wait to share with you our plans as we make them and bring you along as we experience and learn all we can this summer! Look for the Planning a Summer Abroad series as we start to prepare all the moving parts!

Where do we go from here?! 

As I talked about this morning in my video I’m going to continue running my blog and The Chic Little Shop but I’ve been working hard behind the scenes to take my business to a whole new level… broaden the spectrum and bring more to my customers and my followers. My ultimate goal is to help empower and inspire women to live their best life as the best version of themselves confidently! This includes many of my passions… beauty, fashion, lifestyle, travel, relationships and day-to-day life as a mother and a wife.

I relaunched my business with the intention of focusing on clothing alone and still wake up in the middle of the night dreaming of so much more. If you know me, you know that I am NEVER short on words and always have something to talk about… so putting myself into a box just isn’t for me. If labels are important here, just think of my blog/shop as a place where I share various inspirations in hopes to make your life easier.

I’ll still bring various apparel and accessories into the shop, but I’ll also be promoting some of my favorite shops and companies some of which I’m affiliated with and some I’m not… I’ll make sure you know which is which!

I am so excited about the direction my business is going and how it’s overall just growing and blossoming into something I’ve dreamed about for years. I feel like I can finally see a glimpse of what it could become with more hard work, dedication and of course learning all I can along the way. There is SO much to learn and technology is always changing, social media is constantly changing and evolving. The industries are nearly impossible to keep up with and it will be a huge task to stay on top of everything that I plan to share and bring to the community. But I’m more than up for the challenge and already this journey has been so rewarding in so many ways. I’m so thankful!

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//Casual Look of the Day//

:Make-Up:
(In order of Application)
MAC Cosmetics Prime+Prep Fix+, $26 at MACCosmetics.com
e.l.f Cosmetics Poreless Face Primer, $5.79 at Target.com*
Flash Focus Hydrating Foundation Stick in Light, $34 (ON SALE) at WanderBeauty.com
Younique Mineral Touch Concealer in Scarlett, $29 MishaeMorris.com – Indep. Retailer
Touch Translucent Setting Powder, $39 at MishaeMorris.com – Indep. Retailer
Photo Filter Foundation Powder in 1 (Natural Vanilla), $42 at Smashbox.com
Customizable Eye Shadow Palette w/ 4 Colors, $32 at MACCosmetics.com
-Colors used: Woodwinked, Honey Lust and Shroom
Better Than Sex Mascara, $23 at TooFaced.com (Enjoy 20% Off w/link)*
Contour Kit w/ 6 Shades, $18 at Ulta.com (Comes with Free Gift)
Professional Eyebrow Powder Pencil in Grey, $6.69 at Target.com*
e.l.f Cosmetics Brushes (Starter Kit), $20 at Target.com*

*Affiliate Brands

Top: OldNavy.com (older), similar always available – LOVE plaid/flannel!

Mug: Petal Palette Monogram Mug, $10 at Anthropologie.com

Xo,

Kate