10 Ways to Be a Badass


Normally when one thinks of a badass, one doesn’t usually come across an image of myself but more so along the lines of ‘The Terminator’, ‘Rocky’… even Lara Croft. Or perhaps a pick-up artist or someone who is all about getting ‘ripped’. My physique is petite more than anything else. But it’s what you carry on the inside that truly resonates who you are. So after my birthday weekend, I had some reflections as to where I am in life and who I really am as well. And I can assure you, I’m one hell of a badass for many reasons. So continue reading to learn more on ten ways to be more of a baddie in your life as well!

1. STOP GIVING A F**K ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF YOU!

As a trained figure skater, I was criticized on a daily basis (and then some) which became part of the norm in my childhood. Good and bad, the latter proved to toy with my insecurities for years. But what it has also taught me is discipline, perseverance and most importantly, the only competition that I’m up against is with myself. Do you really think, with the career I’m in now, that I’d have any real fighting chance if I spent my days trolling Instagram worrying about other people and what they think of me? I’d never leave the house! So throw caution to the wind in this case - once you really don’t care about what others think of you and are only worried about yourself, it is forever life changing. And yes, a complete badass in doing so!

2. TAKE ACTION IN SPITE OF FEAR

We are human after all, we all become afraid of many things throughout our life. But it’s how we manage that fear is what counts. To lead an exciting life, one must be open to new experiences. Jump with a leap of faith instead of waiting for something to happen. You just got to go for it, remember that you are uncomfortable because you are simply traveling out of your comfort zone, which is a good thing. Overcoming fears equals personal growth, and badasses are far more capable than what they ever imagined to be. Better to have tried than not try at all.

3. BE COOL TO EVERYONE

Not to say one should be a doormat, but it never hurts to be kind. We are all in this together, meaning we are all going to go down just in different ways so while we’re here we should at least try to be nice to one another. Don’t get me wrong, once a boundary has been stepped outside of its line, I won’t be as cool. But to me, a badass isn’t a ‘mean girl’ or a beyotch with an attitude, but more so someone who is diplomatic, cool, calm and collective throughout many different scenarios. Treat others how you’d like to be treated. The cooler you are to everyone else, the cooler they’re gonna be to you.

4. STAND UP

Whether it’s for yourself or someone else, do it for the right reasons. Not for an ego boost. When you see someone being taken advantage of, abused, or wronged who may not have the strength to stand up for themselves, do whatever you can to help. Don’t go getting yourself into situations you can’t handle, but if there’s any opportunity to fight some sort of injustice before you, stand up and do something about it. Rise up for yourself because if you can’t do that, you’re not going to be able to help others either. But you’ll never regret doing either or the other!

5. SAY NO

Of course, it’s important to learn when to say yes but I believe it is even more important to learn when to say no. And rather frequently. You can’t please everyone, and even if you tried (which I have in the past) you will never win over everybody. Quickly saying yes to everyone and everything will consequently have you lose your focus and dilute your power. Be selective, take time in your decisions, and definitely be down to say NO AF. Lol.

6. STOP TALKING, AND START DOING

If I have to endure one more conversation amongst ‘bloggers’ as to what I have in store for summer plans, future content ideas, etc; I’m going to die of exasperation. Less talk, more action. Like a writer, don’t tell me… but SHOW ME. One of the best ways to stay stuck in your life is to constantly talk about things and never take action. If you want to really change your life or achieve a big goal, then commit to being someone who takes big action and does something about it after rather than the other way around. It kind of coincides with #1 but it’s all about delivering what you plan on doing. GET IT DONE!

7. KEEP IT MOVING

Life will try to beat you down, others will try and take what you have, and your own mind will tell you that you’re not good enough, but… guess what? The world doesn’t revolve around you and you have to maintain at not relenting. Don’t give up. Keep plugging away at it and go after it single-mindedly. Don’t let anything get in your away. Remember why you are doing what you’re doing and don’t let go of that.

8. ADAPT

Stay on your path and trudge forward with big strides, but be flexible and adapt to the conditions of the road. If you want to make the universe laugh, just tell them your plans. Things will go awry. If you’re too rigid, life will feel like it’s against you, so sometimes you got to adapt a little and go with the flow. Be like water, not cement.

9. FOLLOW YOUR GUT

It’s there for a reason, and believe me when I say this, it knows much more than you do! ;) If someone or something feels wrong to you, or a project just doesn’t feel right…listen to what your intuition is telling you. There’s a good chance that it’s right and you should at least consider what is going on. Don’t have a knack for it, or so you think? Meditate, take long walks, do things that will open your inner compass and guide you to do what is best for you.

10. KNOW WHO YOU ARE

We all have different sides to ourselves, but more so of what we project to the outside world, and then who we are - as in… who we really are deep down inside. In my profession, it’s easy to just think I’m this or that, depending on what’s in a person’s ‘about me’ page, outfit, tweet, and then some. None of this makes a person. What’s in your heart and what actions you take definitely take hold over who you truly are as a person. And it’s all about being able to look at yourself in the mirror every morning and be very accepting with yourself. Because if you can’t even face yourself, how do you really know yourself? Be happy knowing your true self, a badass at heart all the way!

LOVE & XX’S,

 
 

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My Best Tips for New York Fashion Week


THIS POST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY HEARTLOOM & CULTRESSE BY ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN.

Happy Monday! How was everyone’s weekend? I spent it working, while also preparing for next month, which is one of the busiest months for me. In less than a couple of weeks New York Fashion Week will be here. This will be my sixth season attending NYFW, and after a few years in the ‘rodeo’ I definitely have learned a few lessons along the way. It’s not all what it is cracked up to be, in that it’s not something you just show up to, like going to the movies. It takes weeks (more than that if you’re out of towners) to organize and plan for the week, from meetings with brands/pr agencies that you’ll be working with, to the shows you will be attending, and even squeezing in a couple of photo shoots and dinners/site seeing along the way. And if you’re visiting, you’ll need to handle your flight, hotel, transportation, etc; So in today’s post I’m sharing 5 of my best tips for New York Fashion Week. Whether it’s surviving or thriving (let’s hope both ha ha) - during the week here in New York, these tips will keep you moving and grooving!

1. IT’S ALL ABOUT WHO YOU KNOW

A blogger once told me that if the brand could not seat her front row, she would refuse to attend the show. So it’s not only about who you’re connected with, because in the 7-day binge of networking with other like-minded people you could potentially partner with in the future, it’s about how you are connecting (while certainly being kind to others) to begin with. And this is not in terms of logistics, but rather taking value in a person’s time and input, and actually connecting on a creative level. For example, getting in the Coach show because it’s a place to be seen is not going to get you in at all. You have to gain the experience in the industry along with a growing audience in order to achieve some sort of recognition, only then to have bigger opportunities in meeting with the bigger labels in fashion. I’ve been fortunate to meet many in the business just by chance, or even taking another chance on smiling at someone backstage and striking up a conversation, only to lead to some sort of connection. Nowadays it’s all about numbers and what’s on the phone, but I think in order to build any sort of successful business relationship (or any for than matter, not just business), there has to be a personal connection, first and foremost.

2. BE PREPARED

No matter how much you think there’s time to prepare for what’s a veritable buffet for fashion bloggers during NYFW, it goes by so fast and there is a ton of preparation to deal with beforehand. For example, the emails that are sent out and received. Hopefully, your emails are not automated/robotic-like and have some sort of ‘you’ in the message along with yes, your numbers, because stats are also important. Then the organization of what you chose to do everyday, from events to shows, meetings, shoots and, hopefully some sleep, along with preparing looks each day before as well. It’s a lot of work for only a week. And even more if you do more than just one fashion week, like I have been doing for the past two seasons attending London Fashion Week, where next month will be my third time visiting - I’m very excited! Bring a really good external/portable charger. With all the phone usage from ubering, texting, photo/video taking, and more, your phone’s going to die rather quickly. Here’s a little tip: To conserve your
phone battery during fashion week, put your phone on airplane mode during
fashion shows. You can post what you want afterward, of course after turning the airplane mode off.

3. EAT HEALTHY & STAY HYDRATED

I can’t tell you how many times I would only have one meal a day during Fashion Week because of my crazy hectic schedule. And I was the crankiest, hangriest b-ya there ever was, haha! Kidding, but really, no one is pleasant to be around when hungry, and it’s just not good for you. Duh. Yes, I confess on solely relying on caffeine, such as soda and coffee instead of water where I became extremely dehydrated. Now I try to drink water everyday, but I also tend to drink a ton more while traveling, especially while on the plane. I also will eat a bit more on the healthier side just to give myself as much energy as I can get - and obv. the overall way of eating and drinking properly while literally being on the go for a week straight.

4. WEAR WHAT YOU MAKES YOU FEEL CONFIDENT

Every time I wore something I was even 10% unsure about, I would not get photographed by the street style photographers and I would just feel uncomfortable about wearing it the entire day. And this shows in photos. You got to know your style and own it! This is the time to have fun with your styling skills, but also shining on in that department! Who doesn’t want to look their best during Fashion Week? Again, if you’re a fashion blogger and you’re maybe doing it to just go- as in see and be seen, it may not be within your best interest then. You should want to go for the experience and to learn from it, to make you a better blogger and person, overall. But wearing what makes you feel 100% great about yourself, is something we all strive for and definitely want to showcase during this time of the year, while also sharing emerging talent/designers.

5. SERIOUSLY THOUGH, HAVE FUN!

You can kiss that “perfectly scheduled day” goodbye, so you might as well make the most of it! Each day you’ll maybe get around 5 hrs of sleep (if you’re lucky and have an editing team) will not eat perfectly, and will definitely not be stress-free. Don’t forget why you’re doing what you’re doing, and I hope it’s because you absolutely love it, want to meet other people and connect, and maybe learn something you haven’t yet, whether it’s your first time visiting New York or your tenth - from all there is to do in my city, I hope it’s out of support and passion for fashion. And when is it a bad thing to catch up with old friends, too? I love seeing everyone during this time period too :)

I hope you guys enjoyed today’s post! I do realize not everyone that comes to my blog is solely doing so for my fashion content, more so the content from fashion week. But rest assured, lots of more beauty and lifestyle content coming your way very soon! If you come here for fashion + styling tips, what would you like to see more of on the blog? And if you are attending fashion week, drop your comments down in the section below with your number one tip for NYFW! Wishing you guys a killer week, get it done and have a good time while doing so! Catch y’all back here soon.

LOVE & XX’S,

 
 

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5 Reasons Why You Should Take a Social Media Break

When I first was building MaQ + Suz, which I still am, times have changed in the past three years. And even though I have remained consistent throughout this time, it has come to my realization now more than ever that as a creative person, it is vital to my well-being to un-plug from the social media world. I’m constantly on it for work, and lately the daily cycle of cranking out content has felt like it’s never-ending and yes, everyone can burn out! When everything is all about instant-gratification these days, I still think it’s completely acceptable to take a detox/break from something that isn’t always necessarily beneficial to you. As much as I love to share my life on social media, I also can really appreciate when to say no to certain things when it comes to what I do for a living. So in today’s post I’m sharing 5 reasons why you should take a social media break from time to time. Continue reading for more.

1. IT HELPS YOU SET BOUNDARIES

For many of us, social media can feel like an anxiety-fueled space, and it’s up to us to decide when to say enough is enough and not let any form of negativity into our personal space. Even on an everyday basis, I try and restrict myself to about 2 hours of social media postings and scrolling. But by setting a daily routine like a time limit of my time on my phone and taking mini-breaks even this way can be the healthiest boundary you set for yourself , which is the ultimate form of self-care. This weekend, I forbade myself from posting on social media, no matter how guilty I felt not doing so. I am exhausted, sick (migraine all day Sunday) and in need of recuperating from my job where there are literally no days off. And you know what? It led to learning other reasons why this is great to do every so often. (or as much as you like… you are your own boss, no?)

2. GET YOUR CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING

Whenever I really start to feel burnt out, I will go off the grid for a couple of days. I also have a tendency to do this when I’m suffering from writer’s block. This doesn’t bring forth my creativity per se, but you’d be amazed how great you’d feel after a full weekend of rest and just doing things you love to do, like read a book, go to the museum, have a phone call with a friend, taking a long walk with my dog, these mini-breaks not only take my mind off and recharge my batteries, it is then when these types of activities help influence my creativity. Sometimes freeing the mind and not trying to think so hard about the next amazing photo shoot actually will bring the next amazing photo shoot. Trust in the retreat your mind and body absolutely need to take every now and then.

3. RECLAIM YOUR TIME

You know you can’t buy back time, but you can reclaim it. With Apple iOS 12's “Screen Time” feature, you can track your social media usage. I'm currently using this tool and discovered that I could have likely read Murakami’s new novel in the time I spent scrolling Instagram last week. YIKES. Which in turn gives you more time for other things in your life aside from social media. Because I guarantee this is not the most important part of life by any means... it doesn’t define you as a person. Life is short. Spend it wisely.

4. KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE

Others’ comments or who has viewed your Insta-stories, or what’s currently trending… Yet another distraction when it comes to social media. It all leads to nowhere. I always remind myself why I started the blog in the first place. And I think the immense desire to someone’s “15 minutes of fame” is more and more outweighing the desire to create quality content and/or visual story-telling. So when whatever I see online all starts to become white noise and very little is inspiring me, it’s time to take a breather from the overly saturated social media world. When I de-tach myself from it temporarily, it always brings me back to where I started and why. Which is really important if you want to continue visualizing the big picture, too. Remember why you started.

5. RECONNECT AND COME BACK STRONGER

This kind of coincides with number 2 in this post. But this is more about our inner work. As I just said, social media is not the definition to life, nevertheless, it doesn’t define you. It’s a brand, a label, a front to what really is reality. Because in the world of advertising, not everything is ever the complete truth. And the same goes with what I do. Every photo is staged. Choreographed with makeup, hair, clothes, location, a lens, etc to end the final result with a quality image and a story behind it. It’s simply never just a snap. So when it comes to comparing yourself to others, for example, be clear about your goals and do the self-work IRL to come out confident; it will help curb the anxiety that the Instagram comparison game creates. Focusing on other parts of your life aside from social media/work isn’t just a simple “distraction” from the other not so glamorous side to what I do, it’s always a resetter. It helps me regroup and reconnect with loved ones and yes, myself. Sometimes a little self-care goes a long way, and if you’re feeling a bit unsure about what you’re doing online, it’s time to take a step back and regroup, reset and reconnect. And in the long run, you will always come back stronger. Remember this too… social media isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

NYC fashion blogger

LOVE & XX’S,

 
 

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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.

1. TAKE CARE OF YOU

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.

2. ‘TIS THE SEASON FOR GIVING

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. :)

3. TREAT YOURSELF

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!

4. FOCUS ON THE GLASS BEING HALF-FULL

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.

5. LAUGH, AS THIS TOO SHALL PASS.

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.

LOVE & XX’S,

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5 Tips to Nail Your Next Meeting

WEARING: CHICWISH TWEED COAT | GUESS SWEATER | JOES JEANS | PRETTY LITTLE THING SLINGBACKS | ODETTE & ODILE MARBLE POUCH


THIS POST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY CHICWISH & PLT.

I've been to hundreds of meetings. Some you nail right out of the park and then there are others that don't go as well. First impressions do count-down to the very last detail and after a lot of trial and error, I wanted to share my tips on how to nail your next big meeting! Whether it's your first time meeting with a client you've been dreaming of working together or a quick pow-wow meeting with those you already work with, these essentials will not only make your life easier but the lives of others around you as well. So without further ado, let's get started with my two cents' worth of my top 5 main suggestions for landing your next gig/client.

1. BE ON TIME

Nothing irks me more than those who are regularly late. Biggest pet peeve. Sure, in a city like New York and with all the congested traffic, running 5-10 minutes late is a norm but anything longer than that is just rude and unaccountable. It tells two tale-telling signs (to me): One, you don't take the meeting very seriously if you show up that late and two, it also shows me that you are not reliable (or even worse, irresponsible). So the next best thing for everyone? Just show up a few minutes earlier. If you have to set your alarm fifteen minutes earlier than usual, do it because it'll also save you the hassle of rushing as well, where that's when everyone makes the most mistakes. 

2. DO YOUR RESEARCH


I can't tell you how many times I went into a meeting and the person did not do their homework, let alone, know anything about me and/or what I could bring to the table. Eeeek! Don't be that person. If it's more than one person meeting with you, you better research everyone in the room. We're not talking a background check, but yes, know their position and abilities before talking smack about what you can do for them. Demonstrate your preparation by asking questions about the person(s) and not so much about yourself - don't worry they will be asking about you too but don't forget the give and take rule. Listen first, speak later. 

3. BE UPFRONT

Now, this doesn't mean opening up your "Dear, Diary" and spilling the 411 on your entire life story, let alone anything super personal. What I mean is don't be afraid to answer with conviction about your skills and knowledge. It doesn't have to be a novella of an answer, but one with a couple short sentences wrapping up your talents with a nice 'bow' if you will. It also doesn't look like you're trying too hard, because who wants to listen to your lists of accomplishments (that you probably memorized off your resume) Keep it short and sweet but with purpose. 

4. BE PRESENTABLE

Both physically and mentally. Being present is key along with a first good impression by the way you dress and yes present yourself. Polish those shoes, wear that tie/dress that hugs your hips and makes you feel extra confident but remaining true to you. Obviously, don't show up looking like you're ready to perform in a risque cabaret, but dress the part. The second part is all mental. This has to do with body language, leaving your phone in your bag, to even that initial handshake. They all count. Being present in the moment during a meeting goes a long way, and shows that you're invested and committed to that meeting, and in turn, the job at hand.

5. FOLLOW UP SOONER RATHER THAN LATER

Once you've worked your angles and made your impression to the client, the next best thing is to touch-base rather quickly. Now you don't want to look overly desperate so waiting a day or two is fine, but in this day and age where we are constantly on the go, meeting with other potential clients, and then some, it's easy to forget people and things once too much time has passed. So be diligent and follow through with an email or phone call, thanking them for their time with some sort of continuing conversation regarding your meeting. 

Have any questions regarding this post? Well... then GO FOR IT! Drop me a line in the comments section down below or send me an email! We love engaging with our readers and are always down to continue the conversation. Last piece of advice? If you want something badly enough, first and foremost, you have to go for it. Be audacious. Others will know through your actions and words if you really are dedicated in achieving something, whatever it may be. Until next time...

LOVE & XX’S,

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