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!








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,


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!



Out & About

Out & About

2018 is proving to be quite overwhelming, wouldn’t you say? It’s been a pretty heavy year full of social and political issues rising to the surface on what seems like a daily basis, I mean, we’re living in a time where Colton is the next Bachelor!

Jokes aside, in times like this, its sometimes nice to have reflection on something positive. Just a few years ago, I wasn’t even aware that today is National Coming Out Day, set aside to celebrate the process of coming out in the LGBT community and at a time like this, I  figured it’s nice to take a day from all the negativity we’re seeing and appreciate that I’m fortunate enough to be out and have so many great friends and a loving family that support me no matter what.

Coming out is a very personal experience, and no two stories are the same, but they are all equally important! For some people it’s painless, others, traumatizing, but each is just as brave as the next and deserves to celebrate that part of their journey of identity and self acceptance.

Let’s face it, coming out isn’t a one time gig, it happens many times, over many years. Even in 2018, given everything we hear and see on the news, it’s not exactly a welcoming environment to come out. There is a still a lot of ignorance out there, and I’ve always admired my peers who handle it with grace. I’m glad we have days like to day to celebrate such a big personal milestone for LGBT people. So thank you to all of those who support their friends and remember that you play an important role in the process. Here’s to appreciating everyone celebrating having come out, or those finding courage to come out in the future.

More posts to come soon, thanks for reading!




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!



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,


Pride & Joy

Pride & Joy

June has arrived and that means we’re really into the swing of Summer and also the swing of Pride Month. Pride Month has a history of celebrating LGBT rights, culture and for so many including myself, is a time to reflect and celebrate how far someone has come in their lives as being a part of the LGBTQ community.

To be perfectly honest, writing about being gay and about my personal challenges isn’t as easy as writing about an outfit, but it feels like the right time.

I came out to my close family and friends two years ago, which in some ways does seem “late” but we’ll get to that later. This year, I’m feeling prouder and happier than ever with my sexuality and self confidence, but that was not always the case. Since as long as I  can remember, a lot about my personality and mannerisms were heavily critiqued and criticized by peers, both children and adults. I’ve come to realize that those negative comments about my voice being too high, my conventionally feminine interests, the way I  carried myself… (you get the picture) all made me start to believe two things: 1. that everything about me was possibly bad and 2. being gay was something to be ashamed of. I  truly felt confused and trapped, with nothing but my own negativity to surround me.

When you start thinking everyone around you doesn’t like who you are, you start to not like who you are too. That’s a really tough statement to swallow, but that’s exactly how I started to feel. To be quiet honest, I wasn’t even sure if I was gay for the longest time, but I  started to think that I couldn’t be. It was as if I didn’t want to prove to my bullies that they were right.

It’s taken me a lot of time to silence that voice in my head that said “you’re not good enough” or “you can’t be gay, it’ll give them ammunition to dislike you even more.” It took finishing high school and pretty much all of college to finally realize that the other opinions about me no longer mattered and that I  should just be happy as my true self.

In the last few years it started to click for me. All along, I’ve had a wonderful sister and father who’ve loved me since day one, never letting me do anything but be myself, 100%. I have best friends, some since 7th grade, who appreciate and value me, even when I didn’t value myself.  Most importantly, I  started to believe that I deserve to be just as happy and proud as everyone else.

Being gay has its challenges no doubt, but it’s a part of me and it’s one that I love, not something to be ashamed of. It makes me who I am and I’m proud to celebrate that, this month and every other month that follows. It’s irrelevant when I came out or if it feels “late” because everyone has their own process, which is something all gay people have in common. I  have so much respect for everyone who faces the same kinds of struggles that I have. Whether it’s reminding yourself that you’re good enough or handling public ignorance with a smile, you should be proud of yourself.

Thank you for reading this small reflection as we start a month of celebrating pride!

-TW ❤




Spring Forward, Fall Back

Spring Forward, Fall Back

As I mentioned earlier this month, spring is all supposed to be all about rebirth and having that awakening that would cure me of that funk February put me in. The month of March is almost over and let’s just say… I’m still in need of that cure.

We recently just experienced Daylight Savings Time and the saying goes “Spring Forward, Fall Back.” I’ve come to realize that’s basically the way I’ve been feeling recently…. falling back while trying to spring forward. I keep asking myself, how can I  stop falling… and the simple answer is… I can’t. Falling is a part of the process.

Embracing this mantra has really come to help me succeed professionally. Over the past year, I “fell” so many times as I struggled to find meaning and purpose in a job that wasn’t working for me. It was finally when I  fell the hardest that I started to spring forward and find a new path.

Now that I’ve gained great professional security, the other component of this is social security of course. (The harder of the two) I  find it so much harder to accept the falls that will come with making new connections, friends and dating. For anyone else who has had difficulties in similar areas, just know that sometimes falling only means you have another chance to get right back up.

Right now I’m feeling a little like I can’t get up, and quite frankly, like I don’t really want to, when it comes to social media. I’ve touched on this topic before but it can never be said enough. I’ve noticed myself withdrawing from posting and viewing Instagram as much because it’s all becoming too much! The constant oversharing, the daily night cream posts, the templates on your favorite things, I’m loosing my mind!

With a place like Instagram, it feels like there’s a lot of noice, but no one’s really talking. I’m working to step back on the daily mind suck of perfection I’m seeing online and focusing on the voice within to spring forward these next few months. I’ve been reminded recently that posts like these are helpful for others just as they are for myself so as always, thanks for reading along!

Life is too short to live in inauthentically, falls are going to happen, it’s about how we get up that helps us spring forward.


The Write Way

The Write Way

Maintaining a blog requires a few things…. creativity, photos and of course, writing. I’m no author, but I’ve enjoyed the process of improving my writing skills through blogging. I’ve always appreciated the art of writing, and it’s emotional sentiment. Whether you’re doodling to relieve stress, keeping a travel journal or sending a thoughtful note, there’s something special about breaking out pencil and your favorite pad of paper as opposed to typing on a laptop.


I recently found Oak+Ink, a Nashville based gentleman’s stationery store, that I could not be more in love with! Stationery is a lost art in my opinion. I remember picking out my first stationery at 11 years old, and continue to send hand written thank you notes and messages to friends and family after every birthday.

Oak+Ink has a variety of classic designs with a modern touch. Whether it’s more nautical and outdoorsy or stylish and sophisticated, there’s a design for you! This is a perfect gift for yourself or someone else. I’ve been using the note pad daily at work for quick sketches and memos. The pencils with catchy sayings are fun as well and also from Oak+Ink.


The brown paper and sketched designs really make the paper feel more sophisticated than boxed stationary you can get at a big box store! I’m looking forward to writing more with Oak+Ink and here on!

As Oak+Ink says, Write On,


Photos by: Jenny Connors 


Social Studies

Social Studies

School is session today here on Witt&Style, and the lesson: Social Studies 101. I’m not talking about the blend of history, geography and sociology, I’m talking about that necessary evil little friend of ours, Social Media.

I use that phrase “necessary evil” with the best intentions, because let’s face it, the chances you got to this page is because I’ve shared it on a social media platform are extremely high. I think that I can speak for most of us when I  say social media has been both a blessing and a curse since it’s entered our lives.

For me, I’m starting to build a career out off primarily social media work, and that’s largely because for the most part, I  love its power to remain personal and creative at its core. Instagram will always be an evolving canvas that I  can curate while interacting with new friends and followers on a daily basis. But what about when I’m not “working” with social media? Sometimes, it can feel like it’s working against me.

What do I mean by that? To put it frankly, at times social media makes me feel straight up insecure. Words like lonely, ugly, fat, failure, not good enough, and unworthy all come to mind. I  know that sounds harsh but the first step in addressing a monster is to call it right out into the open. But how did it get that way?

While watching the world present its “best self”, it’s incredibly difficult to not feel like what you’ve got going on just simply isn’t enough. By associating a number of followers or likes as a measurement of validation is only making the problem worse. I’ll admit that I  too can get wrapped up in the “game of likes” as I say, and it’s because validation from others and strangers is often the best medicine for a perfectionist like me.

If I’ve learned anything from working in social media, I’ve realized that the best way to handle all of those feelings is to remember one simple fact, IT’S JUST INSTAGRAM! As much as it may seem all consuming, it’s only a small part of my life. My friend and I  always joke that Instagram could be gone tomorrow; every selfie, brunch photo and moment you’ve captured and all those likes that you’ve bent over backwards to get could vanish, and then what? Life goes on!

It’s just a photo, it’s just another male model with <7% body fat (which is fantastic for them, I just like french fries too much), and it’s just someone else’s experience, so what? I’m not any less of a person because I don’t have the same things someone on my Instagram feed has. Going out and making my own experiences, and sharing them, (or not) is completely my choice. Knowing this and remembering all the reasons why I love it are why I  stick around. It’s so important to be self aware with social media, because I    can control what I’m looking at and how I react.

I’m also going to mention one fact to keep in mind with social media, Instagram in particular. The next time you’re feeling down because of likes and followers, know that a lot of it is out of your control. The algorithm keeps changing, making it harder to get as many eyeballs on your content than ever before. As someone who has worked with influencers both big and small through work, a lot of people purchase followers. You’re not any less of a creator or user than they are because they have the “swipe up” feature. Looks and numbers can be deceiving.

Because I work in the industry and also maintain my personal accounts, it can be A LOT, so making sure I  balance screen time with real time is something I’m working on this year, and if you’re in a similar boat, I’d advise the same. Writing this blog and tapping into other creative avenues has helped me realize that those insecurities from social media are fast and fleeting. Literally, they’re as fast as it takes me two swipe down to the next photo on my feed. 😉 So let’s remember that social media is a tool, an outlet and doesn’t define ourselves or our worth. Instagram shouldn’t scare us from living our own lives out of fear that we’re not good enough, because we are!

Thanks for reading,