You've Got to Feel to Heal

WEARING: VIPSHOP SHIRT DRESS | MAUI JIM SUNGLASSES | BRAHMIN BAG | GUCCI SLIDES | 
BING BANG NYC RING | BING BANG NYC INITIAL STUDS

THIS POST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY VIPSHOP.COM, MAUI JIM & BING BANG NYC

You've got to feel to heal. 

Life is tough, but so are you. Most of you come to my blog for style inspiration, whether it's in the realm of fashion, beauty, lifestyle... I aim to make each element beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. Maybe some of you come to see my boy, MaQ, as he is just as much a part of my blog as I am and he is truly the mascot of my business. But what I rarely discuss on here is my personal life and all the experiences that led me to here. Since I've had a lot of new readers on here as well as on other social media platforms, I thought today would be a great time to sort of -reintroduce myself. Hey, I'm Suz. I've lost both of my parents in my 20s. I'm completely estranged from the rest of the family, including my brother. Today marks exactly 6 years since my father unexpectedly passed away. Grab some tissues, this isn't going to be an easy read. Listen quietly or talk to me... I'm open either way. 

My father, Caz, died from a massive coronary in 2012. The irony? The day he died was the day he finally was hired for a job after struggling for years trying to find work. The morning his sister drove him to the interview he had said he felt like he was finally at peace and one with God. He literally collapsed in the hallway after shaking hands with the woman who just hired him. When my brother called to tell me the news that our father had passed, I thought it was a sick joke. Truly in a state of shock, I was numb until getting on the plane the next day with my fiancé at the time (now husband). I sobbed the entire flight home, knowing I would have no time to shed any tears while handling my family affairs once we landed. My family was unsupportive and cruel. Since my father died, not one member of my family has even called to check in on me. I'm dead to them, therefore, they are dead to me. One of his sisters refused to come to the funeral because she "already said goodbye to him" from a falling out they had. What about everyone else that needed love and support? Forget them too, right? It was as if everyone couldn't wait to just put him in the ground and be done with it. My father's side of the family has never been the best at communication (I plead the fifth) but everyone's true colors were shown after my father's death. It was like being hit with a Double-Whammy. 

I lost my mother in 2005. It's still hard to believe it's been over 13 years since being without her. What was different about my mother's passing was being there until the very end. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer and battled it for nine months. I took care of her while holding down a job at the airport, finishing up school to graduate on time, and then some (nearly died twice while she was sick.) I am forever grateful that I was able to say goodbye to her. When people wonder what's worse: Losing a loved one suddenly or watching them slowly deteriorate... after experiencing both, the worst is the unexpected. There's so much I wanted to say to my father before he died and because we were estranged for three years before he passed, I'm eternally haunted from all the things left unsaid and what could have been. Is it normal to think that there's something else I could have done to prevent such a heartbreaking loss? Yes, but that's part of grieving. 

How long does the grieving process take? I'm going to have to say, sadly, for the rest of your life. Is it easy for me every day? Fuck no. Some days are so awful, I have trouble getting out of bed. But then I hear my parents, and they'd be damned if I lived an unhappy, unfulfilled life. They wouldn't want that for me. And even though I try my hardest to live a full, rich life, I can't help but feel such sadness at times, knowing I can't share any of my accomplishments or mistakes with them. And in turn, I feel this incredible pressure to honor them - to prove to my parents that I wasn't born in vain and that it was all worth something. That I'm made of both of them, and that's a gift within itself. Do I feel lost half the time? Yep. Do I have moments of profound anger? Rage? You betcha. I feel like I've been robbed. Not one, but both parents? And no family to back me up? Why? I may never know, but I know this. I love them with everything I have and the content I create isn't just for the world to see, but it is more so especially for them. I hope they are proud of what I have done (so far) but I always have the sinking feeling that it'll never be enough, that I just will never be good enough. That's a horrible burden to carry. But I carry it. With pride.

So how do I bounce back on God-awful days as such? I FIGHT. It'll take every single ounce of energy within me. I try to believe that my experiences happened for a reason, and perhaps since I was strong enough to survive it, I do feel responsible to share it with you guys. To tell my story is a privilege. I hope this short but emotional post brings you something. Whether I may inspire you, and/or make you feel less alone, or even just getting to know me a little more and have a better understanding of me: Using my blog and art has helped me tremendously through the healing process. Those of us who have lost our parents are forever changed and we will never forget. I do believe that if you’re dedicated to wanting to live a brighter, lighter life, doing the work, finding the tools, and feeling the feelings will help you move forward. It has helped me. But it's a long, unwinding road. You’ve got to feel to heal. 

LOVE & XX'S,

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Modern 50's Housewife

WEARING: CHICWISH DENIM PENCIL SKIRT | FOREVER 21 BLOUSE | NA-KD LEATHER JACKET | 
ODETTE & ODILE WHITE SUNNIES | NINE WEST LOAFERS | STEVE MADDEN TIGHTS | 
PAUL'S BOUTIQUE LONDON MIKA SHOULDER BAG | UO BLACK BANDANA 

THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY CHICWISH & PAUL'S BOUTIQUE LONDON

New York City Street Style

Hey, everyone! I'm sorry I've been MIA on the blog this week. Sometimes life takes a toll and you just gotta deal with it. After a week from hell with both work and personal struggles, I have come to the notion that when it rains, it freaking pours. I decided to not over-do it and to take it a bit more easy this week, hence only posting twice on MaQ + Suz. Luckily it's been a rather slower week and I didn't have as many deadlines as I normally do, so I guess there's the silver lining in that. In today's post, I'm digging into more about the recent struggles I face as someone who is in the creative field, and why I'm a bit concerned about where it is all headed. It's like this outfit - everyone being modernized, 'updated', renovated, etc; and yet in terms of politics, sociological aspects and more, we're still living back in the damn 50's. Even in this digital world. Continue reading for more on what I'm talking about along with where to shop this 'Modern 50's Housewife' look. 

A couple of weeks ago I filmed a campaign with Innisfree, the #1 beauty brand in Korea and now available in the U.S., talking about beauty care, our environment, this upcoming earth day and just a couple things #IGiveASheet about - click here to watch more. Reasons I bring this up, (aside from shameless promoting) is because I am grateful for all the opportunities that I've been given. I have never imagined I'd even get this far in my career. I work hard, am professional, and just want what everyone else wants: To be happy and to be able to do what I love, which is to create. But the constant changes in the digital world is making my head spin on top of other things going on in my life. I'm tired of hearing about how everything is changing for the better and that the new economy is the only way for this better change. I have friends moving along in life having babies, job promotions, glorious vacations, and I'm still slaving away day-and-night just to catch one little break. I'm willing to sacrifice life choices over my love for what I do. I don't need the money or fame - it's about the acknowledgment of someone's time and effort in their work along with their character. The reason I create is to inspire you - to make you think, feel, and change your mind and heart about many things. 

Whenever I get into a creative rut, I always go back to the same question. "Why did you start in the first place?" The answer, which to my dismay from several other bloggers within the community answering as such: Money, power, and/or fame has never been mine. Would it be nice to live more comfortably and not stress out every day about finances and such? Absolutely. But it makes things more difficult when more and more brands/companies aren't willing to fairly compensate you for your time, energy and work. Even global brands (which yes, they have the budget) will come back and say they don't and the only compensation they can offer is in exchange for products. (The new exchange in commerce.) I even had one collab offer this week where the brand wanted me to travel and pay out of my own pocket (on top of the collab being non-paid.) We're talking over 3 hours of commuting, not a subway ride away. I graciously turned it down. Now don't get me wrong. I'm thankful for every opportunity I receive, but when it comes down to real-life... it certainly won't pay all the bills. I can only sell so much product and for a fraction of the original price. Or a brand will want a test-run to 'see how things go' before moving forward. This is understandable. You want to know what you're getting yourself into and if you're going to be a match. But it should be about working towards something and not instantly getting what you want and then bowing out. 

Should brands/companies be paying for numbers of followers, likes, etc; or for the quality of the work? I'd say both, but I'm more of a believer in quality over quantity. For example, which is often the case, every concept creatively is refurbished, recycled, yadda yadda yadda, so nothing is ever really fresh and new anymore. (In the grand scheme of things.) A company may feel that because of this, it's more important to gravitate towards the numbers because that's where the consumers are at. Wrong. A micro-blogger can reach specific demographics other big names cannot. But... if it's content they've seen before (and they have half a brain and actually read a book once or twice in their life) you won't get a bite and they'll just keep scrolling. NOW, I'm certainly not saying I've never been inspired by past photo shoots, art and such, but I have never tried to replicate anyone's work. To me, it's downright insulting and really shows your lack of creativity. Be original. Think outside the box. We should be trying to break through barriers, not stay confined in them. And then when you fall into a creative funk, knowing that you're not satisfied with the quality of your work (yes, I'm extremely hard on myself and therefore nothing is ever good enough), it makes the struggle all the more challenging. Some days I think all of this is rubbish and then the next I think I'm actually doing something meaningful in the content that I work so tirelessly for. 

I took some time to think about what I wanted to write today because I was self-conscious at first. I thought, what if a brand or company reads this and then thinks of me differently? I need to stop caring about what other people think because quite frankly they don't! And second, why would I want to work with someone who after reading this post, and because of it judging me in a bad light? Same goes for colleagues, friends, and then some. I don't want to be working with anyone like that, let alone be associated with them. We all deserve to be collaborating with those that not only appreciate your efforts but also wants to build something together because you both believe in something, whether it's a concept or personal growth or both, it should be with love and positivity and support. Not ways of jumping through hoops in hopes of climbing up that ladder a bit faster than others. Why can't we remember that it's not the destination in life, but the journey? Name a legend or icon that became instantly famous and remained that way. NONE. They worked for years before a big break. And the blogging world is incredibly tough. It's competitive, cut-throat and downright stressful with all the job 'descriptions' of what we do that comes with. I write, produce, edit, shoot, film, meet and greet, brand, travel, forget to eat, sleep, and take care of myself, all the while trying to maintain some sort of balance in my personal life as well. It's easy to say you want to grow authentically, but with the surmounting pressures in the industry, the difficulty to act is not the same. 

New York City Fashion Street Style 

I'd rather authentically grow at a slower pace instead of sneakily participating in what are now, 'hidden giveaways', where bloggers are doing these giveaways under the radar where no one can see them (in secret groups and such) where they used to blatantly put loop giveaways into their feeds to instantly gain more followers because of the contest of winning free items (you know, a MacBook, an iPhone, etc; my eyes are rolling and are in pain at the same time just typing this) -what a crock of SH*T. (Don't even get me started on buying followers, likes and comments {and more}) That's why you see 'influencers' going from 20k to 40-50k overnight. It has nothing to do with the content they produce. It's all about the free goodies they're presenting to the world. And what's sadder? They lose nearly all of them once the giveaway is over. Oh, did I mention that in order to participate in the giveaway you have to BUY your way in? And I'm talking two to five hundred dollars, all for a few thousand instant followers. See my point here? And this is only one of the many scary examples as to why I'm frustrated with the business I'm in. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for giving back and have conducted some giveaways here and there, but then I remember what my main goal is for MaQ + Suz and it's certainly not giving away free crap just to gain a bigger audience. Also... if you call yourself an 'influencer', you're probably not an influencer at all. #sorrynotsorry  

My message is simple. I only work with those that believe and appreciate my work. Otherwise, I walk. Life's too short and if it's a gig that you think will compromise with your brand, just don't do it. I consider my blog my first-born child (aside from the furbaby MaQ), so whatever I feed/nourish it, that'll be the outcome as well. So take care of your baby. Take care of it every with all your might. And hold value into what you present to the world, whether it's yourself or your work, what you project will also be what the universe throws back to you. I hope you found some insight from this post and can relate to my struggles. We all go through it and even though it is my job to make everything look aesthetically beautiful, life is not this way and I believe interjecting real thoughts & reflections keeps my work honest and true. Leave your thoughts on this post down in the comment section below! I always love hearing from you guys! Thanks for the extra love lately, too. You're all too kind! Have a wonderful weekend. Catch up again soon.

LOVE & XX'S,

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Transitional Trench + Mink Fur Loafers

WEARING: GWEN SALAKAIA PATENT LEATHER TRENCH COAT | UNIQLO HEATTECH TURTLENECK |
 LEVI'S JEANS | SORELLE SHOES | ELLIA WANG WHITE LAYERED BAG | ROMWE SUNNIES

Hey, everyone! How was your weekend? I spent the majority of my time working and also caught up with an old friend for brunch on Sunday. I also watched the docuseries, 'Flint Town' while editing yesterday and it is a must watch. It's not just about the problems that surround the town of Flint in Michigan but more about the clashes of racism, political battles and everyday police work that coincides with what is currently happening. You guys really should check it out, not a long one I promise! I've been heavily into documentaries lately while working at the computer, what do you like to have as white noise in the background while you work? Or do you like the silence? Why? Okay, okay... not to get sidetracked; let's get to what I'm discussing in this blog post! In today's outfit post, I'm sharing how a long patent leather trench coat can be chicly styled with a pair of loafers. It's not the typical norm, but rules are meant to be broken and I am far from anything typical ;) Plus, it's still absolutely freezing in New York!

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A trench coat is a fashionable product that can’t be separable in autumn, and many girls like the simple matching that a trench coat can solve the dress from head to feet. So in the selection of shoes, flat shoes that are convenient to wear and take off are very matched with a trench coat. I normally will pair a statement coat with more subdued mules or even with some fresh sneakers, but I do like to step outside the box and see what combinations can work when it comes to fashion and styling. And how beautiful are each piece?!

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The long patent leather trench coat is from Gwen Salakaia, with a voluminous shape and a beautiful muted color. Isn't the faded brown so lovely? I've always loved a statement coat for any season as I really think it polishes up a look as well as my obsession with outerwear. Because the coat was such a singular piece on its own, I wore my favorite Levi's jeans (yup, total repeat offender) and a Uniqlo Heattech turtleneck due to the STILL frigid temperatures. The mink fur with Swarovski crystal-loafers are from Sorelle Shoes and you can find both the coat and shoes at the NYC showroom, Dreams On Air

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The gorgeous Italian calfskin, multi-layered white crossbody bag is by Ellia Wang and can also be found at Dreams On Air. I wanted something lighter and softer in terms of color to balance out the dark and neutral colors of the outfit. A trench coat such as this is a great staple/investment piece because it can be worn all year round in various weather conditions along with being quite versatile when it comes to styling it. From a dress to jeans, (to maybe even a surprise visit to your man's showing up in nothing but the trench!) this is a trend that won't be dying out anytime soon. What do you guys think of this look? Shop similar pieces at the beginning or end of this post! Wishing you all a fab week! Catch ya guys back here on M + S real soon!

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LOVE & XX'S, 

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Spring Blue Pantsuit

WEARING: LUCIE BROCHARD.võ SATIN-SILK POWER SUIT | LUCIE BROCHARD.võ SATIN-SILK TUNIC SHIRT | 
NAT & NIN TEREZA | NINE WEST JANILLY LOAFERS 

THIS POST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY KREATEURS & NINE WEST.

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Happy Monday! How is everyone doing today? This weekend I finally had the chance to take a stroll through the streets of SoHo and discover Kreateurs. Though the showroom is technically based in Paris, they were here in New York for 10 days for their popup showcasing emerging French designers. Ranging from timeless styles, high-quality, ethical processes and authenticity, Kreateurs is a tangible alternative to the overwhelming power of leading brands; by creating a space for independent designers, they platform a unique expertise and vision. 

Lucie Brochard.võ matured her creativity throughout her experiences in Europe, America, and Asia. Across her many travels and stop-overs in airports, Lucie identified the need of confident women to wear outstanding clothes without compromising on their comfort. Always ready for unplanned stop-overs around the world, this collection caters to the modern, creative, elegant spontaneous traveling women. The Lucie Brochard.võ collection reveals a distinguished feminine silhouette filled with character, originality and a sense of escape. Yet, the wardrobe is subtly inspired by menswear tailoring in order to bring exclusive comfort and practicality.

Such as with this blue pantsuit: The color, stitching, lining; every single detail is with careful attention, right down to the excellence in tailoring, I was immediately drawn to the collection. I styled the pantsuit with contrasting bright, spring colors such as yellow and orange to give the whole look an extra pop. The colorful top is actually a tunic shirt that I loosely tucked into the pants to give it a more carefree feel. To color balance with the variety of colors, I chose more subtle feminine tones, like this blossom // blush pink leather bag from Nat & Nin, and a pair of crisp, white loafers from Nine West. I think I'm ready to kick spring's butt in this look! Feeling inspired, empowered and ready to take on this week like a champ! For more info, please visit kreateurs.com

LOVE & XX'S, 

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Fall Stripes with Red Panama Hat

WEARING: MAD-STYLE FLUTED SLEEVE CREWNECK TOP | MAD-STYLE RED PANANA FLANNEL HAT |
 GENUINE PEOPLE BELL BOTTOM CROP JEANS | PERIDOT BOUTIQUE LOAFER SLIDES |
 MAD-STYLE PEARL MULTI RING CHOKER 

THIS POST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY MAD-STYLE

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Happy Monday, guys! How was everyone's weekend? The past few days I've been struggling with the mundane everyday life responsibilities, just finding the time to do laundry has been challenging! Life happens when you're busy making other plans, am I right?! But I have no complaints, I'm so crazy about what I'm doing in terms of work that I literally forget about the other things in life I also need to be doing (until I'm on my last run of granny panties... then you know you've outdone yourself HA HA) But that's also the great thing about New York City, don't have time to do the laundry? Drop it off somewhere and have someone do it for you. (No, I don't do that but I could...) you can even have someone come and pick up your laundry for you! Aside from my hectic schedule that doesn't seem to be calming down anytime soon, my all-time favorite season is just around the corner and I couldn't wait to get started on my new fall wardrobe! Today's look is all about bold colors and patterns that will super trendy this season, and at the same time keeping the outfit somewhat casual yet super chic! Let's take a closer look at some of my new favorite items I picked up from Mad-Style.

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Stripes are hot, hot hot right now and will definitely transition into the cooler season. This fluted sleeve crewneck from Mad-Style is my new favorite striped shirt! What I find so adorable about this top are its large bell sleeves! This oversized flounce sleeved top brings such a lovely detail to any casual look, it's perfect with your favorite pair of jeans or maxi skirt. I also love how thin the stripes are as they make it for a flattering fit for anyone! 

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One bold color I always wear when feeling fabulously confident is red. I'm an Aries and red is definitely a hue that has burned long and hard in my heart when it comes to my selective choices in color. When I first noticed this Panama hat, I was immediately drawn to its rich color along with a unique belt accent that adds another notch of luxury and style. This buckle adornment is very eye-catching along with the flannel material in this boho, fedora style hat! 

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My jeans are from Genuine People and my loafer slides are from Peridot Boutique. The last piece from this look and also from Mad-Style is this gorgeous pearl multi-ring choker necklace. The stunning multi-strand leather necklace with large conjoined rings and large pearl stone in the center I found to also be very unique. The rings come in different gold tone finishes: gold, rose gold, and silver. Are you guys loving the striped shirt, red hat and/or necklace? If you are adoring the Mad-Style pieces as much as I am, use my promo code, 'maqandsuzto get 20% OFF your purchase from Mad-Style! They also carry a variety of accessories such as jewelry, clothes and even dog apparel! You can also shop this look down below. Don't forget to leave a comment on your thoughts from this post! Follow me on Instagram too! Have a great week, everyone! :)

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LOVE & XX'S, 

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