EUROPE ADVENTURES PART 1: OUR 3 COUNTRIES TOUR

Finally had a chance to process my very first visit to Europe and now I’m excited to share a bit about it with you all. For those who follow along on Instagram and watch my Instagram stories, you may have seen all of our videos documenting our visit to Barcelona, Spain, France, Rome, Italy, Andorra and our 40 mile walk on the Camino de Santiago. Yes, I said it, we hiked for 3 days straight clocking in a whopping 40 miles from Pamplona, Spain to Logrono, Spain.

So, why were we in Europe? Good question! I worked as a communications specialist for a graduate program in my former position and I was a part of their study abroad planning committee. I was tasked with collecting marketing content that could be used to market the course. When COVID hit, our trip was put on hold until 2022, but by that time I had transitioned to a new position at the university I work at. I was asked to finish up this project and was given the invitation to go to Europe to document the trip for marketing. I’m so grateful to work in the university setting. It has taken me places I never thought I’d ever see. Education has taken me places I never thought in my wildest dreams I could ever see. It’s amazing! I always knew I’d be in education, and for a long time I thought it would be as a teacher, but that plan fell through and I’m grateful for that. I’ll be sharing more about what I actually do in the education world in another post, but for now, without further ado, I present to you pics from our 3 countries tour.

Yup, Charles booked us a 3 country tour and yup, we visited 3 countries in one day! We got a chance to bop around Spain, France and Andorra with our tour guide Rod. Rod was amazing and took us to a few tiny towns in France for some yummy food and we got our passports stamped in the cold mountains of Andorra. It was a full day of fun meeting some really cool solo travelers and hanging out with the locals. Keep scrolling for pics….

Our tour guide, Rod.
Guy from Sweden we met on the tour
They had the yummiest cod and curry rice dish.
Charles posted up outside the food spot thinking he’s cool
Cod and coconut curry rice
Random post office shot
This shop was closed.
French hotel
Beautiful stream
It’s the swag for me
He snuck in the church to look around

So, after a fun time in France, we headed up the mountain to Andorra to get our passports stamped and freeze our tushies off in the mountains. Yes it was SOOOOO cold, but so worth it to see the beautiful mountain views and snap a few pics. Is this view not amazing ya’ll? I never in a million years would have wanted to visit a cold place for vacation, but here I was, freezing cold, but so happy. Look ya’ll, I left Massachusetts for a reason. The cold winters weren’t fun and having to shovel my way out of the snow to walk to school sucked. Thinking about those cold days as a kiddo makes me shiver on the inside, LOL. In fact, I vowed to myself that I’d never use my vacation time to travel somewhere cold and here I was in France on the mountain doing the exact opposite, LOL. Let me tell you, THE VIEW WAS WORTH IT! I take back everything I said about cold vacation destinations. Ha ha. I visit these mountains any day for this amazing view! Keep scrolling…..

I’m trying to be as cool as her

So, that’s all I got from our 3 countries tour. I hope you enjoyed the images. This was a definitely a trip for the books. I’ll be back one day. Who knows, maybe I’ll ski. I’ve never done that before. There is a first for everything right.

Stay tuned for another post on my time in Spain and the amazing helicopter ride we took for a birds eye view of Barcelona!

Till next time.

Sincerely,

Deidra Marie


7 HORRIBLE REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE ANOTHER CHILD

Yes, you guessed it, these are reasons that I’ve personally been told by people about why I should have another child and I’m here to share why none of these are actually good reasons for having a second child, Also, this post is to just say STOP with this nonsense because none of these reasons make any sense at all.

Let me be clear, none of these reasons are based in any hard truth or facts, it’s just silly things made up by people to justify their intrusive questions and behavior around someone else’s family dynamics. Yes, I get it, I’m sure many people are guilty of saying a few of these things on the list without even thinking about how it really comes off to both families trying to conceive and families that have no plans on trying for another, but no matter how you slice it, none of these reasons are grounded in any real logic and just feed into the idea that families are only complete if you have more than one child. Well, allow me to share a few words with you and debunk these ludacris reasons.

Because your biological clock is ticking / time is running out

This justification is the absolute worse, not to mention, intrusive and rude. What do you know about someone’s biological clock? How does anyone know how much time anyone has? When and if someone decides to have more children, it’s between them, their genetics and their doctor. Mind your own biological clock because you know nothing about theirs.

Because your child will need someone to play with

No, wrong, wrong and wrong. Do daycares not exist? Extracurricular activities? Cousins and family members? Playdates perhaps? Speaking from experience, I am very intentional about my child’s interaction and social time; not just because she is an only child, but because I believe it is critical to her mental health, growth and development.  

Children without siblings are selfish/lonely/don’t know how to share etc…

This is a pretty big generalization don’t you think? I’m not really sure how people can say this stuff and come to these conclusion. Yes, I get it, maybe you have met some children that fall under these categories, but that’s not everyone, come on now. You can’t group all children without siblings into these categories, especially when you don’t even know every person that is an only child.

Because your significant other/or other family member(s) want you to have a second child

This is such a poor justification for having another child. Just because someone wants you to have another child, doesn’t mean you should. At the end of the day, let’s face it, it’s you carrying the child, it’s you birthing the child and, in many cases (particularly moms who are nursing) moms are the main caregivers for said child. No one should feel obligated to have another child because their significant other or a family member wants you to have another one. At the end of the day, it’s your decision too! Not to mention, it’s your body!

Because the second child is always much easier

How can anyone possibly know this. Yes, maybe the person making this statement can speak to their own experience about having a second child that was “much easier” but how could anyone know about someone else’s second child, you know, the one that doesn’t exist, the one nobody has ever met. How can anyone possibly guarantee someone else’s second child would be “much easier” There are too many factors that come into play to really make this justification stick and make sense.

Don’t you want a boy? Don’t you want a girl?

If someone says they don’t want a second child, it literally means just that, it doesn’t matter if it’s a boy or if it’s a girl. A child is a child, no matter how you spin it and if someone says they don’t want another one, take it as just that, girl or boy.

Because once your first child starts walking, that means they are making room for another

And this, ladies and gentlemen, goes down in history as the DUMBEST reason of all the reasons to have another child. I literally don’t even have a comment for this one because it’s that ridiculous. My first child started walking because it was time, that’s it, the end. Where did this logic even come from?

Children are great, but not everyone wants children or wants to have more… and news flash, they don’t have to explain why! To put the icing on the cake, I’m pretty sure they don’t want to hear why they should either. Let’s normalize not asking people when they are having children or trying for more.

That’s all for now.

Sincerely,


Deidra


SPRINGING INTO SPRING WITH CREATED COLORFUL

What better way to prep for spring than with a color consultation. Keep reading to see what I’m talking about. A few months back I had the pleasure of working with the amazing Created Colorful team to figure out my best colors.

What is Created Colorful?

Created Colorful is a team of amazing color experts devoted to helping you find your best colors. They are there to help you unlock the many possibilities you have with your wardrobe and help you learn to choose clothing in colors that highlight your best features. The brains behind this whole operation, the beautiful Lindsey, Owner of Created Colorful, set-up an amazing color consultation for me so that her team of trained experts could find my best colors.

Initially, when the Created Colorful team reached out regarding a consult, I was a bit hesitant. Passed experiences around make-up and wardrobe styling had me thinking that a color consultation might be a flop. I had my make-up done before by people who didn’t really understand choosing the right colors for my skin type. I’ve sat in the chairs of experienced make-up artists who didn’t have my foundation shade or didn’t quite know what lipstick colors would look best on me. I’ve been sent clothing items from brands in colors that I felt really didn’t bring out my best features. Needless to say, as a woman of color, I’ve trained myself to always come with a plan B in situations that involve wardrobe styling, make-up and hair. I’ve trained myself to never assume people know how to style women of color, curvy women, and in my case, dark-skinned women. I’ve trained myself to believe that not every space is created for me and therefore, I have to create that space for myself and hope that with time, others will be able to see the need for inclusive practices, but with everything I do, I try to step out on faith and decided to give the Created Colorful color analysis a shot. FYI, this was my first time doing a color consultation.

My Color Consult

So, the first order of business was to complete a brief questionnaire. I was then asked to share several selfies with specific color fabrics draped over me . After those selfies were reviewed, I was asked to send just a few more colors to complete the full analysis. This part of the process was actually pretty fun because I got to dig through my closet and I discovered I had quite a few colors in my wardrobe. I think I was able to get almost the full list of colors they asked me to share, but they asked for a few more as well and after all my pics were sent in, it was time for the real magic to take place. I received a full analysis via email with kind words from Lindsey, the owner of Created Colorful. Additionally, I was given a full break down of my best colors, courtesy of my assigned color consultant, Tressie.

And the results are in … <<<drumroll>>>

I am Warm Spring, but I can also pull off some of the colors in the Clear Spring palette as well. Tressie, my color consultant, provided me with a very detailed analysis of why these colors work for me and how they would work with my wardrobe and highlight my features. To say I was shocked at what my colors were is an understatement. I remember filling out the questionnaire and thinking, if they pick brown, navy or light yellow for me, I’ll be so disappointed because I thought those colors really didn’t look all that good on me, especially brown, mostly because my skin is brown and I felt like it fell flat on my skin. Well, surprise, all of these colors are in my palette of the best colors for me and I’m not AT ALL disappointed. In fact, it just further proves a color analysis was needed. After getting my full assessment, I immediately wanted to take action, and started scrolling through old photo albums to see if I was already dressing in the colors that suit me. Below are a few of the pics I pulled from throughout the years where I was getting it right with the Warm Spring palette vs where it was not the right color for me.

Scrolling through old blog pics post color consult was like looking at my wardrobe with fresh eyes. Now that I’ve been schooled on what my best colors are, some old pictures revealed that I was wearing colors that really weren’t my best colors. I’ve done so many shoots for my blog and for brands I’ve collaborated with in the past and some of the final photos for these shoots haven’t been my fave. Taking a glimpse back through old pics with the info I know now has me thinking perhaps the images weren’t my fave because of the colors I was wearing. I never thought the colors I wear for photos could make such a big impact on the final product. Often times, location, lighting, weather and a subjects energy level are the main things I consider when producing a good photo. Since receiving my color consultation, I’ve really changed the way I style myself for shoots and am way more attentive to the wardrobe colors I buy and while every shoot situation doesn’t afford me the opportunity to avoid my worse colors, I can at least be creative with the colors of the locations I shoot at and accommodate with the right make-up. Speaking of which, the pics below are from my most recent brand shoot. Keep scrolling so I can explain…

My color consultant, Tressie, mentioned increasing the warmth of my photos to enhance my features. For the above brand shoot, I was able to do this in editing along with wearing a flamingo pink (a color in the warm spring palette) and shooting at a peachy colored backdrop. I feel like everything aligned with the warm spring palette and it made such a huge difference in the photos and brought out the warm tones I have. My color analysis also recommended a few tips for Warm Spring make-up and I thankfully had a gloss that aligned with the palette and topped it off with a warm rose blush that definitely helped with bringing out my best features and played to the warm tones that I have, and not to brag or anything, but according to my color consultation, Beyonce is a Warm Spring, so there’s that, LOL.

My Created Colorful consultation has been such a game changer in how I prepare for photoshoots for brands I partner with. So much of the final photos I produce weighs heavily on the colors I wear and what shoot locations I choose. I’ll definitely be using the Warm Spring and Clear Spring palette to guide me on what colors I should wear on shoots and even use it as a guide for how I edit the final photos. This experience made me feel heard, not only as a woman of color, but as a woman period. It’s nice to feel included in spaces where I once felt like I had to be the expert all the time, and while I think we’re all experts over how we style ourselves, it’s nice to know efforts are being made to embrace the unique beauty of women of color, so they can feel supported in their goals as well.

Interested in a color consultation? Click here to learn more.

Till next time.

Sincerely,

Deidra Marie