How I Feel About Blogging Lately


I’ve been wanting to write this post all week but alas I’ve been quite the mess. My dog, MaQ, even though seems to be his good cherry self, has had some kind of skin infection (or so it seemed) but after a vet visit and the blood work came back, his albumin levels were lower than they should be. So tomorrow we will be going in to have an abdominal ultrasound to further investigate the problem. I PRAY that there’s nothing serious, but given the fact this is the first time my baby is not well (internally) I want to be safe rather than sorry. And in doing so, I’ve been super anxious all week, to the point where I canceled all my meetings, events… everything. I know a lot will disagree, that the world keeps on ticking, but he’s more than just a dog to me. He’s my child and without him I’m not sure what’s left of me. Most have been incredibly supportive (and THANK you for the uplifting msgs/comments/etc;) but what’s been going on with MaQ lately has me thinking a lot about the future, and what that entails of in the blogging world and which direction I would like to take. Continue reading for more on my thoughts on this rather difficult subject and my fears for what lies ahead.

On a daily basis I receive approximately 10-15 invitations to press previews, launch events, and then some where in the start to my career in blogging, I accepted almost every invitation to network and expand my business. But now coming up on four years in August, I am highly selective with my time. Many of these events are to fill the room, as in to make it look like the event is lively and engaging, I get that, and in turn we, as bloggers show up for support and networking abilities but how many times do we really connect with others (business-wise) at an event where nearly everyone is drinking alcohol, bringing their +1’s because they need a hand to hold and gossip with, only to never really be as proactive as one can be during such a place and time. I rarely see strangers starting up conversations, and more so the cliquey groups I detested in high school. Don’t get me wrong, you can connect while boozing, I’m sure, but in all likelihood, it’s not going to happen. Especially when there’s hundreds of people in the room. I’m more about intimate gatherings, or one-on-one meetings where you have a better chance in what I’m talking about. I’m not the type of person who likes to see and be seen. Frankly, I don’t give a shit and would rather be in the comfort of my own home in my pj’s snuggled up with my dog.

It’s also the experience that comes with. I actually hate being called an influencer, because I don’t consider to be one. When you see others talking in selfie form on stories and load after load of unboxings, gifts, press trips, and always THE SAME OLE’ THING, it’s gets old relatively fast. I don’t even like to tell others I’m a blogger because of first impressions. Many have given the blogging label a bad rep, and I hate to have fallen in to that category because I’m far from it. I’m first and foremost a writer. I tend to forget at times due to the very difficult career path and yes, it’s not easy at all. But after being a writer, I consider myself a creative director and stylist who wants to further concentrate my energy into creation - such as fashion editorials, photo essays and more. It’s been a while since I wrote my last body of work, and to be quite honest, I haven’t jumped back on the wagon quite yet because of fear and the pressures of what comes next after writing your first book. It’s terrifying. I do have a number of ideas, but in recent years have lost a lot of confidence, therefore feeling very uncertain about the future. All I know is I definitely don’t see myself posting OOTD’S for the rest of my life, lol. So where do I go from here?

But after the past week with what’s going on with MaQ, it has put many things in perspective. My family comes first, because without them I’m nothing. They mean everything to me, and if anyone doesn’t seem to quite understand that, they can stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. I’m serious. “When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.” My favorite Game of Thrones quote, it’s the epitome of what family means to me. We are better together rather than alone. I would love to add to our family, but that’s a long story and a whole other blog post alone. And even though it’s my '“job” to share a lot of my life to you all, I couldn’t disagree more. I’m like the Keanu Reeves of blogging. I relish in my privacy. And will keep it that way. Never hurts to leave a little mystery behind. 

I’m sure you have heard by now but if you haven’t, Instagram is considering hiding the amount of likes on everyone’s account. And I think this is wonderful. Talk about healthy engagement. Because it never should be about the numbers, but the CONTENT. Is it good quality? Does it tell a story? Does it transport me to somewhere? And I think this idea would be greatly beneficial to the younger generation, where studies have shown the toxicity within social media and how validation plays such a terrible role. I mean, how many times have you felt bad when a post bombed? I know I have. I would like to focus on slow-creation as I term it, where back in the Avedon/Penn days, photographs/content would take a lot of time. Nothing was digital and the appreciation after waiting for the final product was always worth it. Nowadays, we can’t seem to go fast enough. And it’s exhausting, fully saturated with so many doing the exact same concept (YAWN) or even worse, just ripping off one another’s ideas. And yes, everything comes from somewhere but the way we interpret it is key. So I’m focusing on advancing in videography (something I’m good at but hate doing lol) where we can start to evolve our content into something fresh and new again. I will also be taking more focus on my writing,

I used to have trepidations of not staying consistent on the gram. Meaning, if I didn’t post everyday, I was in serious trouble! OMG, how ridiculous does that sound?! I would rather have my audience wait and appreciate the work rather than nonstop photos of outfits, events, etc; where it just gets to be too much and no one can really concentrate on the work, which is most important to me. That’s another reason I don’t post as much on stories either anymore because I find it creepy sharing your every move. And who really cares what you’re having for dinner? Unless you’re a major public figure like Angelina Jolie, you got me. I will keep my presence online, but will definitely not be posting everyday of the week anymore, which I have been doing for several months now.

So, while I have some projects I am really going to concentrate on for the remainder of the year, I would love to know from my readers on what you’d like to see me cover more on my social media platforms. Don’t worry - I will still post, go to (some) events and live my life, but what would you want to see more of? Fashion? Writing on more serious topics? Beauty? Travel? Pet lifestyle? Maybe some crime? Or still maybe a little bit of everything? I would love to have some feedback from you guys to better assess our future content. Thanks for stopping by and reading! Don’t forget to drop your comments down below and chime in on what you’d like to see more of on MaQ + Suz! Until next time, wish us luck tomorrow at MaQ’s sonogram and keep sending those positive vibes! Nothing but Love & Light to you all. xx






What I Learned from 2018


Life is a continuation of sorts - uphill battles, downfalls, and all the in between. And sometimes even in life’s most ordinary cycles, it seems nothing will ever change, improve, progress to your liking. Even if it is at a snail’s pace because yes, amazing things take time to cultivate I still struggle with the idea of remaining patient while continuing to be diligent in whatever I’m trying to accomplish. I truly sometimes think that no matter how hard I may try at something, it’s never going to be ‘good enough’ and that perhaps I will never grow. But after this year, I couldn’t be farther from the truth. Learning my strengths in the face of adversity definitely have shown that through discipline, perseverance and yes, a little bit of stubbornness will take you places. But you have to stay on the train.


And if you can’t change your reaction, then change your environment. For example, when you have to repeatedly tell a friend what they’re doing wrong (we’re talking moral values and such). If at some point they’re not getting it, it’s not your issue it’s theirs. Distance yourself from people who suck the living life out of you. There are all sorts of leechers out there and no one deserves to be taken advantage of. This goes for money, emotional manipulation and then some. Another example, I did a test shoot with a model a while back and was trying to take a street style shot with the person in the middle of the street with the Empire State building in the background. But no matter how I reacted in directing this person to be ‘in the middle of the street’, I shit you not, they did not understand. At some point I had to literally pin the person at the very center of the street and said, “Don’t move”, “stand still”… and YES they moved. So I eventually changed my environment because I knew it wasn’t working. Hahaha! :)


Unfortunately, life doesn’t always turn out they way you thought it was going to turn out. And it’s easier to be spiteful, bitter and even down right vindictive over life’s unfairness. Sadly, I even saw this in my father near the end of his life. The first time I took a trip to New York, I came back so excited to share my experiences and all the photos I took. My mother found it exciting, even courageous, to want to venture out into the world. My father couldn’t barely stand to look at the photos, only to say one thing, that he hated New York and when I asked him if he had ever even visited the city and said no, he had no reasons other than negative ones to behave this way. I, too, can sometimes get angry at what life has thrown at me, like how I lost both of my parent before the age of 30 and yes I ask all the time, “why couldn’t You just have left me at least one?!” Or why I don’t have a single family member to even call when I’m feeling down. You just have to look at it this way, in that things don’t just happen. There’s a reason and rhyme to everything, and with a more positive, I guess sweeter, perspective, you’ll be sure to find your way. If I stayed bitter over my losses in life, I never would have found my way to my husband, my dog, MaQ, or even this blog that I consider to be my baby! And yes, in the caption’s saying - it is always better to be nice rather than rude too.


I challenge myself on a daily basis in this living mantra. Especially when life’s daily routines become a bit too routine and nothing exciting is really going on. This year I took my very first solo international trip to London for work (loving it so much I did it again six months later). And even though for most people, it’s not a big deal, for me, someone who does suffer from anxiety, had a lot of nerves about it. But I took a leap of faith, and just went! Best decision ever, as it has really helped me grow personally and professionally. Not ready for something like that? Start small. Go to an event or party, be more social if not already - or start a new hobby you know that’ll make you a little nervous… maybe archery? That would make ME nervous! Ha ha! I think sometimes being impulsive is a good thing, because it pushes you to your limits (NO shopaholics do not apply LMAO) and you discover that you’re capable of so much more than you could even imagine.


Yes, I still have trouble in loving my whole entire self. We all have flaws, insecurities, weaknesses, vices, etc; but you know what is truly amazing? No one is you and that is your power! How incredible is that… you’re one of a kind and unlike anyone else on this planet?! No one else can be you - you are loved and amazing just the way you are. I think too with age, you accept yourself more and more because you know that’s the way it’s going to be. So you might as well love your eccentricities, quirks and all - inside and out! I’m starting to more and more share this side of me on the blog and I think you guys too, really dig it! So yes, I always think the topic of self-love is a self-realization in growth for every year of my life.

I don’t want to go on and on about what I learned from this past year where I start to sound cheesy or too lecture-y. So, I’m going to leave it off with see you soon, wishing you all the best in the New Year, and yes, sending you Love & Light with all my heart. MaQ + Suz would not exist without its readers and we are extremely grateful for each and every one of you! So thank you as always, for the continued love and support of our brand, as we truly work very hard every single day to try and bring you the best styled creative images in the world of fashion, beauty, lifestyle and more.

Side note: ha ha! The paisley blazer from this post is by Saku New York, the cream fuzzy sweater is from H&M and the jeans are Levi’s. Hope you guys enjoyed our very first post on MaQ + Suz for 2019! What are some of the lessons you have learned from this past year? Don’t forget to drop them down in the comment section below! We would love to hear yours! Happy New Year, Happy 2019 and many, many blessings.






How to Deal When the Holidays Aren't Exactly Happy

I don’t know about you, but the holidays can be a very bittersweet time for me. It’s not the most wonderful time of the year, I am not jolly and I normally am counting down the days until it’s January 2nd. I skip a lot of holiday events and parties because I’m never in the mood to socialize. Why? Am I the grinch? Nah. This time of year we remember people we’ve lost, especially the older we get. Both my parents are deceased, so this time period always brings up a lot of memories and mixed emotions. I’m grateful for the family I have made for myself, given the fact that my own estrangement from the rest of my family is not a choice I have made, but more so one that they have made, but since my parents have been gone, it just hasn’t been the same. There’s nothing like the season’s festive messages of peace, love, and togetherness to really make us contemplate our existence, our relationships, and what really matters to us. Hence, the Holiday blues do tend to creep in on me. But instead of passing through and keeping quiet, I decided to write to those that are in the same boat as me. Because you’re not alone. So here are my 5 tips on how to deal when the holidays aren’t exactly happy.


With all the added pressures the holidays bring, one activity I’m not much a fan of is holiday gatherings. So I tend to skip out on a lot of them. Not because I’m a no-show kind of person, but more importantly, I have to take care of me. So if that means I don’t feel like going to someone’s shindig - I just won’t. Life’s too short to spend all your free time at parties anyway. Plus I always feel guilty. Celebrating anything relating to family is difficult for me. And with a hubby and a dog I cherish so dearly, I quite frankly really enjoy just spending time with them around this time of the year. For those that actually care for me will understand and for the ones who don’t, who cares, honestly.


Whenever I’m feeling down I always make an extra effort to think of others before myself. Because as much as my problems are as big in my head, to the next person, who know what they’re facing as well. So a tiny act of kindness, whether it’s helping an elderly person walk across the street or giving away clothes to Goodwill, there’s always something to be done to help others. I always like to believe that whatever energy you project and also be whatever is paying it forward to the next person. So perhaps if my act of kindness inspires the next person to do the same, my work is done. Well… so to speak. :)


Hey, they don’t call it retail therapy for nothing! If all else fails, you can always splurge on yourself too. Eyeing that new piece of jewelry that just can’t seem to get off your mind? Don’t regret the things you didn’t buy! Big or small, getting a gift for yourself is an act of self-care/self-love. Kind of goes along with the first, in that taking care of yourself and that it doesn’t hurt to buy something for yourself every once in a while. Money doesn’t buy happiness, though!


It’s quite easy to fall into the trap of missing what you don’t have in your life. We are all going through something, and no one’s life is 100% perfectly complete all the time. So when you start to get into a funk, I always try to think of what’s going right in my life rather than what’s going wrong. I think of the people and things I’m grateful for and I have learned to appreciate the smaller things in life. It’s all in the mindset and the way our perspective is in that given time. If you change the way you look at things, things you look at change.


Laughter is the best medicine. Whenever I travel for work and am alone in my hotel room working, I always have Friends of Big Bang Theory on in the background. The white noise makes the room feel less empty and I can always count on a few chuckles to be had afterward. Watch movies, listen to music that make you feel good and will inspire you. Whatever makes you smile, hold on to that just a while longer, because before you know it, the holidays will be over just as quickly as they began!

If you’re in the same boat as me and are not a huge fan of the holidays for perhaps similar reasons like myself - YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I’d say try and make the most of it but it’s okay to not be feeling it as well. If you have any other great suggestion on how to get out of the holiday funky blues, feel free to relay your tips down in the comment section below. I love hearing from you guys, especially on more personal posts as such. Hope you enjoyed, until next time… take care of yourself and others. Love always.





Orange You Glad You Stood up for Yourself?




Now before we get to anything, first's things first: I'm in no way supporting anyone to go around and make enemies or to become someone's enemy, in that it's the best option/solution for oneself, but rather, how important it is to stand up for yourself (without feeling like a jerk). A quote is only a quote, in that the one above is only to set the tone of today's post (Plus, I love my boy and I'm also from Detroit so whatever.) I'm no one's doormat, and you shouldn't be anyone's as well. This goes for jobs and relationships! Continue reading to learn why it's really good (and perfectly okay) for you to say NO and why standing your ground will always win over being a pushover/people pleaser/someone who's scared shitless of saying no.  

In my line of work, I know a lot of you consider bloggers don't really 'work'. I get it. You see it like this: We take pics and get free stuff every day and basically get paid to promote brands and travel the world. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal! But guess what? There's so much more that goes into it. We don't just take pics. We spend countless hours in scouting locations, searching inspo from magazines, art, and more in order to come up with the perfectly styled photo-op. We take everything into consideration. I don't just aimlessly wander the streets of New York to stumble on some random backdrop in the regular outfit I'm in for the day and voila. Hell, most days I look like a chic bum in a casual tee and jeans while searching for the above mentioned for the next shoot. Or I'm behind a computer working like a madwoman. And then comes the shoot. I do my hair and makeup, we travel to the location; the shoot alone normally takes almost up to an hour. Post-production is about another two depending on the difficulty level of the edits. And then cross-promotion on social media. The whole process takes TIME and EFFORT and YES, hard work. We do this every day, not to mention meetings, endless emails, events, errands of everyday life and even more like prop shopping, dog walking, etc;! Phew!

So what irks me to no end? When a brand or agency who doesn't appreciate this and micro-manages you and/or takes advantage of you. Most bloggers are too afraid or are unwilling to disclose their horrific experiences (and let me tell you, we have ALL had them.) If you're going to tell me it's been nothing but smooth-sailing for you, then trust me, you're full of it. Because like anything else in life you take the good and the bad. But, once the line is crossed and you disrespect me or my work, I will most certainly call you out on it and stick up for myself. And you should too! Short but karma-induced blogger story: Cute blogger girl gets offered free boozy adult popsicles as the new brand ambassador. Brand ships product only to not have it delivered due to her not being home but at work. Instead of just shipping it to her office, they berated her for not being home to be able to receive the package. Cute blogger girl responds diplomatically but also assertively while also saying no to the collab after the mistreatment. She furthermore let other bloggers/influencers know about the brand and her experience with them. No this did not happen to me, but to a friend of mine. Moral of the story? Don't mistreat or take advantage of bloggers. You'd be surprised how more and more of us are so done with the bullshit and are done playing nice. Screw you at some point! Especially after having wonderful experiences with brands and agencies who do take care of you, fairly and with honesty. Don't stick around with those that do not respect you! 

Because life's too short. Even in relationships. Yes, relationships are complicated. But if at any point someone just keeps making you feel more and more like BLEGH (and it's all usually for their own benefit: i.e; ego boost, someone to pass the time with, misery loves company, etc.) Walk away. Even ghost if they're that awful. If that's what they deserve. Why be nice anymore to anyone who doesn't treat you with the same respect for your time and effort?! Like I said, whether it's a personal or business relationship, both should be positive and beneficial to all parties involved. Everyone should be happy. So for me standing up for yourself is an act of self-love. Coming from a rough background, I've been doing it since I was a kid and it sometimes can rub off on others as being aggressive/combative but hey - I'm not Mary Poppins or in court so I will speak to you honestly and reactively when disrespected in any kind of manner. Today I had a pr girl interrupt and talk over me while I was asking for content specifics. And when I told her not to interrupt me she said she didn't appreciate my combative behavior. Mind you I had repeatedly asked for specifics beforehand. And for days. I have zero tolerance for any kind of disrespectful behavior. And in this way, the other person will definitely know what you are trying to communicate rather than using "qualifiers" in your speech - words that minimize the strength of your message by apologizing or minimizing what you have to say. Now there's no need for name-calling or taking hits below the belt. But don't say you're sorry if you're uncomfortable about something, just say that you're uncomfortable! Just be frank and get to your point. 

Everyone can have their bad day(s). This Mercury in retrograde has me wonky beyond comprehension but this doesn't excuse anyone's behavior or mistakes. So the next time you're unsure about working with a particular brand/agency, trust your gut because it's always right! And remember what's more important? Selling out to some $$$-contracted job where you're not treated fairly or your SELF-RESPECT? And YES, no woman or man is too fine or too amazing to make this an exception. Take pride in how you treat others as well as yourself because it will, in turn, affect the way that person treats someone else too. Spread love, but when necessary, never ever be afraid to stand up for yourself! Shop this La Doublej orange floral print ruffle dress here or in the shop section down below.





You've Got to Feel to Heal



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.