We Meet Again

We Meet Again

This blog still exists? Hell, TW still exists! …. Deep sigh…. yes, it does and yes, I do. When I     logged into my account to assess the state of this blog, I  realized my last post was in December. (YIKES) Even if we took away the obvious excuse of the pandemic, it’d still been 4 months of radio silence.  Being extremely devoted to my job has often made time for passion projects like this very hard for me to make time for. On top of that, I  spent most of 2019 trying to balance daily life with a family health scare that made me shift focus and prioritize.

I’ve realized during this time of quarantine that creativity (through writing, through design, through fashion) is something that I need in order to feel fulfilled. Regardless of the level of engagement it may receive, I’ve missed expressing myself through this channel.

Now more than ever, it seems ill-timed to share something as “fluffy” as a post about a look or decorating. I’ll see others on Instagram and admittedly roll my eyes at the level of tone deafness that some posts can come across. At the same time, even when I  sat down to hand-write something in a journal, I immediately felt better. There is a sense of release and a therapeutical aspect that this avenue brings me, and I think it’s worth continuing to explore.

With that said, how does one return to the fold with true witt and style form? As any good gay blogger would do…. with a fresh highlight and an ASOS printed shirt, of course, ;). Haha, joking aside, the power of a new haircut and feeling like I’m wearing a “look” and not a groutfit has already lifted my quarantine ridden spirits.

Lots of friends have been moving this summer and seeking advice, which has in a way sparked my want to add more content on home design, so I’m hoping to do so plus the usual style posts and intermittent thought pieces too.

For those still reading this psychobabble, I appreciate your continued support and hope you’re hanging in there. There’s a lot to process and even sometimes getting through a normal day is daunting.

Looking forward to sharing a bit more here soon,

TW

Decking the Halls

Decking the Halls

We’re just 5 days from Christmas (!) and one of the best parts of the holiday is the decorating and entertaining of course. I’ve loved putting in a little extra effort this season to make my house feel in the Christmas spirit.

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Just like furnishing from my apartment from scratch, decorating for a holiday (especially Christmas) can be a massive undertaking. In my option, your home shouldn’t look like a Christmas Pop Up Bar in December. Fun, and easy DIY decorations will do the trick and won’t cost too much either.

My easiest decorative items are no doubt my tree centerpieces. You’ve probably seen these mini sisal trees all over. Michaels, Target, Amazon, you name it, they’re out there. I picked up mine from my favorite Chicago gift shop, Foursided ($2.50-$10 each) in various shades and sizes for dimension. With some fake snow from Michael’s and my glass vases, they turned into the cutest little table decorations. For added glitz, I added a few mini disco ball ornaments!

Don’t have a mantel? No problem! Side tables and tv stands can serve as other places to display stockings, greenery and holiday cards. My round mirror has served as a sweet place to all the cards I’ve received while a holiday candle and mini Christmas tree has temporarily replaced my usual floral arrangements.

Although I wanted a real tree, I opted for faux but always go all out on ornaments and lighting. My favorite lights (to add a old school feel) are from Amazon. This year I added ornaments from West Elm which are now are extremely marked down!

The final touch of any holiday decorations, are the gifts under your tree! This year, my wrapping paper scheme was channeled a monochromatic rainbow. Each gifts paper matched its ribbon and made everything feel classic and sophisticated!

I  hope your holidays (and decorating) have been full of fun and joy thus far! May the final weeks of 2019 and this decade be relaxing as we head into 2020!

-TW

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I’ve got a Blank Space, Baby

I’ve got a Blank Space, Baby

Living by yourself has a lot of positives, and perhaps for someone like me, it’s the sense of independence and ownership that I can take in my space that is the best part. Of course, one facet of that ownership is the look and feel of the space. For someone that has always loved decorating my room, trips to IKEA, and has moved dozens of times during my childhood, nailing the look on this apartment was really important to me. 

Even though I don’t own his apartment, I sure as hell treated it like so when it came to decorating. After 3 years in an older, smaller space, I was so excited to make one of my goals of 2019 to find a new home and make it 100% me. At this point of my life, I feel like a lot of us are starting to find our forever homes, cities, etc and are faced with an exciting yet stressful feeling, a BLANK SPACE. 

When I found this apartment, it truly was a blank canvas, and as someone with an art background, I know exactly how intimidating that can be. Once deciding on the space, I spent nights (it felt like every night) for months looking through books, catalogs, instagrams and pintrest to see what was out there. 

Ordering paint colors, pacing over a rug, and taking things in and out of my cart 500 times, was a really fun (and stressful) experience that I’ve been wanting to share for everyone who’s been buying a new place, decorating their first apartment, or trying to figure out budgeting and their own personal style. 

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From Blank Space to Bright and Bold

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I’ll be sharing a series of posts about my new home over the coming weeks, so keep following along as I  break it down as much as possible. I’ve learned through this process that home interior is more of a passion of mine that I even imagined. 

For now, I’ve included a few photos of my apartment but I’ll be featuring MUCH more in following posts. Can’t wait to share more!  

-TW

 

 

 

Apartment Inspiration

Exciting things are around the corner, or should I say, the block! As of May, I’ll be moving into a new apartment and I could not be more thrilled. Since choosing my new apartment, I’ve been on a steady diet of online shopping at West Elm, combing through catalogs and scrolling Instagram for hours for inspiration.

Having a new place means a fresh start and as much as I’ve loved my apartment, gallery wall and current layout, I thought it might be fun to share some inspiration and trends that I’m planning to incorporate into my new place next month.

Color Shift:

I’m a firm believer of “throw what you know” or better yet, “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” When it comes to paint colors, I definitely play by these rules. I’ve had a blue bedroom for most of my life, and in my current apartment a blue accent wall in my living room. Instead of going for the exact navy color next time, I’m thinking of shifting to a softer hue and painting only half way up the wall. For my bedroom, I’m considering transitioning from a charcoal color to a lighter grey or blue.

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Loving this “at home try on” approach from Backdrop. (image: instagram.com/backdrop/

I’ve been playing around on Backdrop, a new paint brand that let’s you get large swatches, like the Warby Parker of paint, before choosing your colors. A few trendy colors I’ve been seeing are hunter greens, dusty rose, and icy blues.

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Loving this approach to color at Publishing House BNB in Chicago 

Lots of Luxe Fabrics 

Just like your closet, sometimes your space calls for an upgrade. Like a new leather jacket, the power of a luxe fabric can do wonders. Right now my mission is find the perfect leather couch and I’ve already invested in a velvet headboard for my bedroom. Velvet has been popping up everywhere, pillows, couches, bedrooms and armchairs, and I’m into it!

Bold and Bright Accessories (in bulk) 

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers and people buy furniture from a bigger name brand store and call it a day. Sure it looks good, and right out of a magazine (because it probably is) but it’s the styling that makes it your own! Minimalism may have been “in” the past few years, but maximalism has returned for 2019.

“Memphis style” is popular this year, which brings back the idea of bright and colorful accessories throughout the room, in unique shapes with an 80s flair. Even though I   won’t be adding a bunch of 80s decor to my space, I’ll be looking for a few vintage pieces, glassware and other trinkets to have throughout.

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A full look with plenty of layers of styling, and pops of color (image: decoraid.com)

These are just a few trends and thoughts I’ve seen and hope to implement towards my next place! What trends are you seeing and using in your spaces? I’m getting so excited for this change, and can’t wait to start showing what I’ve chosen to add to my new apartment very soon. Keep following along for more updates!

-TW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blogger’s Block

Blogger’s Block

Writer’s block has gotten to me lately, but it’s not just writing, it’s creativity in general. If you do follow along with me, I’ve been pretty quite on the blog and instagram the past couple of months, unless it’s Bachelor related of course. Keeping up with a blog and creating articles, photos and other creative endeavors is something I’ve mentioned being difficult before.

There are a few reasons that have contributed to this “blogger’s block” we’ll say, and sometimes I  believe just naming the issue is the best way to get over it. A few months ago I wrote a post about what I  deem a “blog eat blog” world that I feel like I’m living in. Where even though we’re telling ourselves it’s a community of people of like interest, there is a silent competition on the platform as well. Let’s be honest, who ISN’T writing a blog these days or being an “influencer/content creator”?

I kept on coming to my draft page and quickly shutting the computer lid before typing a sentence. Immediately, I would say to myself “who cares, TW?” “is anyone reading this?” “there are dozens of other blogs they’re going to” or “you’re a dime a dozen.”

I’ve just realized there are two big issues with this frame of mind. One is that I was being  petty. It’s extremely unproductive for me to mock the fact that my peers use the same tools to share their voice. Why does that have to my influence or hinder my creative process? It doesn’t.

The second issue is the negative self talk. I’ve been reading The Defining Decade, listening to podcasts and talking to people like my favorite blogger babe, Megan Prokott, and remembering why I  wanted to blog in the first place. I  wanted to create, I  wanted to share my voice. I’m not why everyone one else is blogging, posting collaborations on instagram, and it really shouldn’t matter.

For me, it was always just about wanting to create and share what my eye sees, because even it’s just a handful of people looking at it, that was enough for me. I get tripped up on Instagram, because it’s trained me to believe a sponsored post is what makes you “creative”, and even though it can be, I  know that not what it represented to me.

Right now I’m throwing myself into work projects and waiting for the cold weather to break, slowly but surely finding new sources of inspiration. Right now I’ve been reading, watching home design shows, and keeping my eyes and ears open to see what’ll spark creativity next.

I’m realizing that like most things in life, I  don’t need to structure it around a time line. As Marie Kondo would ask “does it spark joy?” and for me, sharing my photography, outfits and ideas is what sparks joy, no matter the outcome. I  love showing how I  see color, how I  live in Chicago and that’s what I want to get back to.

Here’s to getting back into the swing of things,

TW

Hello, 2019!

Hello, 2019!

2019 has arrived! Based off social media, it seems like everyone is ready to celebrate their efforts of last year, and start working on their 2019 goals. It’s been nice to see everyone embracing change and positivity for the new year, now we’ll just have to wait and see if that lasts. 😉

Last year my goals were career focused and about being more vulnerable, and this year I’ll be focusing on other parts of my life. I always think that you should have goals that are both internal and external.

My main internal goal for 2019 is honesty. This doesn’t mean I  have a problem with being dishonest, I mean that I  want to live more honestly.  I’d like to speak up more when something is bothering me and trusting myself to reveal the truth when necessary. I think bringing together what I’ve learned about vulnerability last year with honesty this year will be a positive change. Being honest with myself means holding myself accountable for how I’m feeling, in good times and in bad.

My external goal for 2019 is money management, primarily to focus on upgrading to a more adult apartment. With better job security, I  feel like the time is right to start focusing on keeping what I’ve earned, not frivolously spending it. Having the chance to find a new place and take ownership in the process is really exciting to me.  Of course, in the interim, cutting back on shopping will be rather difficult for me.

Like I  mentioned last year, resolutions shouldn’t have a deadline. Having a new year just means a new chance to add more positive change into your life and when the year ends, you get to look back at what you’ve been able to accomplish! Sending my best to those setting out to resolve or begin new goals for 2019!

Happy New Year!

-TW

2018 in Review

2018 in Review

Every year it feels like time is moving faster, and 2018 was no exception. After a rather crazy 2017, it seems like 2018 just began, and like that, it’s over! This may have been the faster year yet, but also a really productive one.

Last year, I  laid the foundation to embrace change and vulnerability in 2018 and that’s just what I  did. When I changed my career path at the end of last year, I  had no idea of what that meant for the future. This was by far, the hardest working year I’ve had. (so far) This year, I  really saw that hard work pays off.

Although working weekends, long hours and taking on challenging projects sometimes had their downsides, the rewards were much greater. I’ve gotten to a place where I’m seeing the payoff and being appreciated for it. When you start doing something you love, success will follow. I’ve also adopted a more “work hard, play hard” attitude when it comes to vacations and time away from work. My two trips this year, to Europe and the Caribbean, were chances for me to be completely unplugged. It helped me put life in perspective.

With that being said, I’ve also learned to take certain things less seriously and let go of some of those “triggers” (my favorite 2018 buzzword) that have haunted me in the past. Life is really too short to dwell on things we can’t change and situations out of our control, like social media perceptions for example.

I feel like going into this year, I had an idea of what may have happened, but for 2019, I’m going in a bit more blind, and that’s fine with me! Less expectations means more chances to be surprised with what’s to come.

So cheers to wrapping up a year of hard work, and starting a new one! Happy New Year!

-TW

 

Game of Confidence

Game of Confidence

If you’re on social media as much as I am, you’ve probably noticed an uptick in postings of “glow ups”. Glow ups essentially refer to the when you’ve gone from an ugly duckling to extremely attractive. The ideas of glow ups brings me back to my post about remembering what we’ve gone through as opposed to what we don’t have.

Confidence has only been something I’ve struggled with when it comes to my appearance. For most of my life, my weight has been a huge struggle. When I realized at an early age that I was significantly heavier than other kids and what it was going to take what felt like a miracle to look “normal” by size standards, I found other ways to get by.

I’d strive to be the smart one, the funny one, the creative fun, and the fashionable one… anything but the fat one. It was exhausting to maintain all those titles while knowing that my outside was still being judged by everyone, including myself.

Now that I’m older, and healthier, I’ve realized the work is far from over when it comes to getting a glow up in the confidence department. That’s where the real transformation takes place, not externally, but internally. It’s all of the little steps along the way that make a true change take place.

Cutting myself slack on my lifestyle choices, knowing I’m trying my best, and celebrating small successes are a part of the process. I’ve even caught myself when editing photos and realizing that I should be proud of my journey by showing the real me, and not going to town with the pinch tool on Facetune. It defeats the entire purpose of showing where I’ve come.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good makeover or before/after like the best of them, but glow ups are more than what we look like. I’m working on ways to find the inner glow up to reflect that I’m happier with my outside. Negative self talk has always been perhaps my biggest adversary and a lot of it is tied to my physical appearance, so it’s not going to correct itself overnight. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I  find this to be a big obstacle for a lot of us.

Let’s keep in mind that improving ourselves is never a before and after, but it’s important to celebrate how far you’ve come in whatever changes you’ve gone through!

-TW

 

Mustard Must-haves

Mustard Must-haves

Summer is not my season. It’s always been to hot, too long and too busy for my liking. The minute the clock strikes fall, I’m immediately back at ease. For the remaining weeks of summer, I’ve been in such a style slump. Knowing my favorite clothing season has been around the corner has helped some.

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Even though I haven’t been enjoying summer fashion as much, I’ve had the chance to start working towards this season. Color has always been the best place to start for me. This year I’m trying something different with my color choices. Usually I stray towards colors I  know look good on me (blues, greens and maroons) but not this year. I’ve noticed an uptick in mustard yellows, browns and even reds for fall and I’ve decided to hop on board.

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Mustard, for starters, is a color I’d much easier see on a hotdog than on myself but I’ve been pleasantly surprised when I  paired it in this fall look. With my suede jacket (Zara makes a version of this jacket every year) and striped Topshop pant, similar here, it has the right amount of contrast.

Not all colors look good on everyone, (shoutout to Orange) but it’s always worth the effort in trying. In this case it was worth the payoff. I’m excited to share more fall looks and how I’ve been taking some color risks in my wardrobe this season.

Stay Tuned,

TW

Back in the Habit

Back in the Habit

Hello, hello, hello, it’s been quite of while since I’ve actually had time to sit down and write a post, let alone create anything at all. Ever since my trip to Europe in July, it’s been a crazy summer of navigating balance and realizing the amount of work it takes to truly juggle it all.

When you really think about, being an adult is f***ing exhausting. You’ve got to work, pay your bills, maintain a social life, find time to date, (laughing at the thought) and be there for your closest friends and family. All the while, a consistent Instagram feed parading your successes is expected of all 20-somethings and whatever dollars are left in your bank account are probably going towards your overpriced workout routines and green juices to keep up to look like your favorite celebrity or Insta-model.

While I  could just sit here and continue to whine and bitch about how hard everything is, I’ve decided to take this time to approach the challenges that life brings, positively.  Personally, August was a bit of a challenge. When juggling so many plates, and feeling like they were all breaking, it was my close friends and family that reminded me of everything that I’ve accomplished. We are our toughest critics after all.

The question is, why has it always been harder to give ourselves a break when it comes to how we’re handling life. As I’ve listed above, there are so many elements we’ve got to balance. Instead of continuing to dwell on what we don’t have (yet) think about what you do have, or what you’ve already done! Have you overcome something in your personal life, professionally or physically that you’ve forgotten all together? Chances are you have, and chances are you need to remind yourself. It’s harder to that, but it’s much more rewarding.

Feeling sorry for yourself is something we all do, as a coping mechanism of sorts, but it seems to run rampant amongst everyone in their early 20s. After a while, it becomes a bit exhausting; to continue to complain, pity yourself and seek validation for in form of whining. My challenge for the rest of this year is to work on celebrating how far I’ve come and not focusing on how long the journey ahead might be.

Something I  enjoy about having this space is that it’s a place to take inventory on life and reflect on how to improve. My goal is continue to share my thoughts from both a stylish and personal experiences. I’ll be working to getting back in the habit of sharing those thoughts here.

Thank you for (continuing) to follow along,

TW