Times Like These

Happy first day of summer! I can’t believe I have yet to write a post for June! The past month has been a whirlwind of both good and bad. I have been collaborating with so many brands, worked on a few awesome modeling jobs, and I even took a trip to France (travel post to come!).
Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

 

Despite all of this, I have felt very unbalanced and scattered the past month and a half. It’s become extremely hard for me to ground myself, so I know something’s up. Life is a bunch of ups and downs, and nothing is constant. I had been moving up since the beginning of the year, but I recently hit a plateau. It occurred to me last night that I’ve been stagnant, and if everything is constantly in motion, stagnant means I’m going down.

 

Although I’ve been insanely busy, I’m bored. I’ve been going through the motions instead of looking inward and trying to figure out why I’m feeling this way. Chatting with a friend helped to to realize why I’m bored and what I want. It’s time for a change. It took me a bit of time to realize what that change could be, but I think I’ve now found it. For the first time since May, I feel inspired, and I’m ready to run with it.
Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

This adorable off the shoulder lantern top is from SheIn.  This look combines two of my favorite trends for Spring/Summer: off the shoulder and bell sleeves! It’s the perfect blouse for daytime fun (i.e. visiting Versailles, picnics, day parties).  I even saw a couple of girls wearing this top at the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic this year too.  This top is adorable, but please note that it runs small! SheIn is one of my favorite places to shop! If you’re looking for fashionable clothing or the latest styles and trends, SheIn is  the place to go. All of their clothes are so chic and on trend. Not to mention, they are outrageously affordable 🙂

Top: SheIn ; Bag: Louis Vuitton ; Shorts: BDG ; Sunglasses: RayBan; Sandals: Steve Madden

All photos were taken in the Gardens of Versailles in Versailles, France

Xx Marisa

Don’t Let Me Down

The other day, a friend of mine wronged me.  She doesn’t know that I know she wronged me, but I do.  I’m not going to go into detail here, but it wasn’t something major, just the equivalent of something very high school (i.e. not inviting me to a party because she didn’t want me there for whatever reason).

Marisa-26

From high school to my junior year in college, I was bullied.  I wasn’t bullied by groups of people, nor was there a lot of concrete evidence that I was bullied.  I was consistently and sort-of passively bullied by my closest friends.

When I click with someone, I tend to become instantaneous friends with them.  During my younger years, however, my intuition was not as strong, and I constantly found myself becoming friends with people who were not good for me.

During high school, I quickly became friends with a girl, and we became inseparable.  Everyone knew we were very close and a package deal.  About a year into our friendship, however, she began to low-key bully me.  It started by putting me down by saying small comments here and there.  The subtle digs continued until they developed into so much more.

I remember her once telling me “Marisa, you’re never going to be a model.”  To that statement, I now laugh (if she only knew where I was now!), but at the time I was devastated.  How could my best friend who is supposed to love, care, and support me say that about me?  Answer is that she wasn’t a true friend.

There were many red flags that I should have ended my friendship with her, but we were at a small, all-girls school, where the level of drama tends to be high generally speaking.  I wasn’t looking to cause or add to any drama, and I sure as hell wasn’t looking for our friends to start choosing sides, something that would have been inevitable considering we had a small circle of mutual friends.  This girl was also known for having a strong and mean personality, and to be honest, my young, timid self was afraid to even have a simple conversation with her about how she was making me feel.  So, I sucked it up and tried to brush it all under the rug.

Eventually, we did end our friendship halfway during my senior year of high school.  I think the final straw was over a guy I liked that she was poaching on—I can’t remember to be honest, it feels like a lifetime ago.  Although I was devastated for losing my best friend and our mutual friends ended up choosing sides for the most part, I remember being very proud of myself for finally standing up for myself.

Version 2

Unfortunately, the lesson repeats until it’s learned.  After this falling out with this friend, the same thing happened to me again in high school and then twice in college.  It wasn’t until my junior year of college that I finally broke the cycle.

I continued to attract one close best friend who low-key emotionally abused me.  It happened to me 5x in a row.  Each time, it was hard to realize it was happening because girls can be manipulative, crafty, and for sure catty.

 Me being me, I also always tried to focus on the good in people and refused to believe anyone, let alone my best friend at the time, could do this to me.  I still always look for the good in people, but I sure as hell don’t overlook the bad anymore.  I don’t hold grudges—I think it’s a waste of time and energy, but I certainly don’t forget how people treat me and make me feel.

I started to attract good and genuine friends into my life because I finally stopped allowing people to treat me poorly.   I knew I deserved to be treated better, and I wanted to be treated better.  I knew I deserved to have genuinely good people in my life, and once I consistently started thinking this and changed my mindset, I began attracting the people that I wanted.

So, back to my friend that I started this article about: Although we are adults, and petty things like this blatantly shouldn’t be happening, at the end of the day, I can’t be mad at her for not being confident enough with herself.

People tend to project or take out their insecurities on others, and this is exactly what is happening here.  I was livid once I found out what she did to me because 1. situations like these clearly hit close to home because of my past and 2. We are all adults here, grow up, but once I realized this is about her, not me, I accepted what had happened and chose to let it go.

Marisa-29

***

This chic and very fashionable top is from Romwe!  I have written about this before, but I must mention again that I am obsessed with the bell sleeve phenomenon for this season! What makes this top also stand out is the intricate sleeve design.  I love that this top incorporates eye-catching lace-up tie sleeves.  It makes for a stylish, edgy, yet sophisticated look.  It’s the perfect transition top to take you from day to night! I love it paired with white denim jeans or a cute skirt or shorts.  You can certainly wear this to a barbeque or when you’re out and about shopping during the day, and you can dress it up for parties or get-togethers later in the evening!

Romwe is the place to shop for fun, stylish and edgy clothing! If you’re looking for something very fashionable or the latest styles and trends, Romwe has it all! All of their clothes are so chic and on trend. Not to mention, they are outrageously affordable!

***

All photography is by Josh Lobel Photography (@jlobelphoto) and shot in SoHo.

Xx Marisa

Fiesta Forever

A year ago I started a gratitude journal where I write down things I am grateful for each day.  I decided to start it because I randomly read that in 21 days, you can rewire your brain by writing down just 3 things that you are grateful for each day.  Initially, this seemed like an odd concept and too simple of an exercise, however, at the time, I was committed to working on myself and changing my thought processes, and I wanted to do everything I could to accomplish my goal of doing so.  Challenge accepted.

Marisa-14

With that being said, I found a tiny notebook and began listing three things that I was grateful for each day.  The list started out as basic as “1. Mom 2. Food 3. A home, to live in” but gradually developed into so much more.  I remember reaching the 21-day mark and thinking “wow, this really does work.”

The more grateful I became, the more humble I became, and in turn, I actually began to attract more into my life.  Listing three things a day turned into listing five or seven—sometimes even fifteen.  I noticed myself starting to say “thank you” multiple times a day under my breath, even for the smallest of things like good weather or being on time for work despite major train delays.  I even began to be thankful for the “bad” because I began to view bad experiences or challenges as lessons and opportunities to grow.

Every morning I used this exercise to ground myself, and I still do it to this day.  My life has become much more positive and peaceful ever since.  This simple exercise has helped me to accept the person I am and be thankful for the life I have been given, two concepts that were foreign to me before being committed to doing this simple, yet life changing exercise.

Marisa-16

***

Fiesta anyone?  This adorable polka dot dress is from SheIn!  My inspiration for this shoot was Spanish Doll/Barcelona Babe..I think I’m just dreaming about going to Spain to be honest!  The dress is very pretty and feminine and the polka dots give it a fun, flirty flair.  I love that this dress is off-the-shoulder, one of the hottest trends this Summer.  The dress also has two rows of ruffles at the bottom, making it super chic and sophisticated!   I  paired this stylish number with a black choker and strappy black sandals to keep with the Latin vibe.  It’s the perfect dress to wear to your next summer soiree, celebration or cocktail party!  You will definitely get compliments in this dress, and it’s super comfortable and fun to wear!

Marisa-23

SheIn is one of my favorite places to shop! If you’re looking for fashionable clothing or the latest styles and trends, SheIn is  the place to go! All of their clothes are so chic and on trend. Not to mention, they are outrageously affordable!

Xx Marisa

All photography is by Josh Lobel Photography (@jlobelphoto) and shot in front of La Esquina on Kenmare St. in SoHo.

Always Love

Marisa-49

IMG_8232

Marisa-43

This super cute, white romper is from AMIClubwear.  Rompers are a must have for the Spring and Summer seasons, and you’ll be seeing a lot of tops, dresses, and rompers with unique cut-outs and sleeve trends.  This outfit can also double as the perfect beach coverup.  These colorful pom poms make this romper pop! Now I just need to get my hands on a pair of espadrille wedges with pom poms!

All photography is by Josh Lobel (@jlobelphoto) and shot on the corner of Kenmare & Mott in SoHo

***

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

I am also in love with these Spring booties from AMIClubwear! I’m a believer in wearing booties all year long–I love an edgy summer dress paired with cute booties. You’ll be seeing a lot of shoes with clear or see-through mesh or plastic material during the upcoming seasons. Definitely reminds me a bit of the Spice Girls and the 90s in general, but hey, fashion trends always recycle right?! You’ll also be seeing a lot of shoes, bags, and other accessories with fun prints and patterns like these.  Who doesn’t love emojis?!

Thank you for the collaboration AMIClubwear! This brand is super fashionable, chic, and outrageously affordable.  It has everything you’re looking for and more. If you want to stand out this season, look to AMIClubwear for the next addition to your wardrobe.  You will not be disappointed!  You can shop here!

P.s. my hat is from H&M! Hats always make a great accessory to complete a look 🙂

Xx Marisa

Falling Into Place

A year ago today, I was in a really bad place. I was lost and confused. I was frustrated and stuck.  I had zero confidence and no sense of who I was as a person. I had no idea which direction to go in. I was overwhelmed and let my anxiety run my life. The simplest of tasks seemed difficult, and I felt like nothing was going my way.

Marisa-3

It’s all about perception, and during this time, I chose to look at life with a negative outlook. It seemed easier that way. I was vibrating at such a low frequency and living in a mundane fog. The more negatively I thought, the more negativity I attracted into my life. I was trapped and claustrophobic to the point where I had to physically remove myself from the situation and leave the city in order to gain clarity and just a mere sense of who I was again.

One of the most important things I’ve learned over the past year is that your thoughts create your life, and if you change your thoughts, you can change your life.

So much can happen in a year—it’s wild. Over time and with a lot of gratitude, forgiveness, and self-love and care, I successfully changed my life because I changed the way I viewed my world around me. Like attracts like, and positivity attracts positivity. My life now and the way I live it is completely different compared to a year ago.

Today I was catching up with one of my close friends over the phone, and she told me that everything is falling into place for me.   I have been thinking this for the past few months now, but it’s so much more rewarding and satisfying when you hear it from someone else. Not everything in my life has fallen perfectly into place, but I’m not striving for perfection. It’s all about the journey, and I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be right now in this given moment.

Marisa-12

Xx Marisa

***

Dress: AMIClubwearBracelet: C.Wonder, Earrings: Forever 21Forever 21, Lipstick: Kylie Lip Kit “Maliboo”

All photography is by Josh Lobel (@jlobelphoto) and shot at NoMo SoHo

Holding Back

So, if you look back on my previous posts, you’ll come across one titled “Beautiful Vulnerability.” It was my first post that had more ‘meaningful’ content, so to speak, or at least gives you a glimpse into my heart and mind, reflecting who I am as a person.

A couple of months ago, I was chatting with a friend. We were talking about relationships, and he flat out told me that I’m too guarded.  I could see why he felt that way.  He’s someone who has been very patient in taking the time to get to know me over the past year and a half.  He told me that my blog was a glimpse into the person I am deep down, but my writing just scratches the surface.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Although (still) slightly offended, the saddest part was, I couldn’t even really defend myself because I knew it was true.  As someone chisels away at the first layer of a pretty thick wall I’ve built over several years, I’m replenishing the cement on the other end simultaneously.

I’m at a point in my life now where the walls that (I thought) used to protect me are now only holding me back. I always say I’m an open book if someone asks the right questions, but what if they’re not asking the tough questions? When do I have to show up and be even more vulnerable in order to open up? When is it my turn to step it up and self-disclose first?

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

I’m not saying that I never initiate these deeper conversations; I’m just saying that it makes me uncomfortable, and I’d rather the other person initiate them.  I’m sure I’ve lost a handful of people in my life because I wasn’t ready to fully open up and be vulnerable. Not everyone is going to stick it out. To play Devil’s advocate, I’ve even ended a relationship because I felt frustrated (and bored, honestly).  I felt that it wasn’t meaningful and not on the deeper emotional and intellectual level that I desired it to be on.  I needed something more, but to be fair, my fear, which held me back from initiating those deeper conversations, strongly came into play.

I shouldn’t have a fear of getting close to someone, but it’s there.  Not for everyone, just for people who don’t self-disclose first.  Maybe it’s time for me to make someone else feel comfortable and initially reveal myself to them.  If anything, getting close to someone new is a rewarding and beautiful experience that I should look forward to, not be afraid of.

***
All of these beautiful photos were taken in Aruba!

The swimsuit is by Asos 🙂

Xx Marisa

Let’s Get REAL ft. Real Underwear

“Your soul is always going to whisper your truth back to you. Your soul wants what is best for you. And if you try to silence its voice, eventually the whisper will become a roar.”

I randomly came across this quote on Instagram one day, and it really struck a cord with me.  Let’s get real–the truth always comes out in some shape or form. We all have internal struggles, perhaps some that we deal with on a daily basis, and especially when our moral compass is involved.  I have a pretty strong moral compass, and whenever I go against my grain, or even think about going against it, I’m left with inner turmoil that destroys my morale and clarity.

When you try to suppress a thought or emotion, it can certainly work for a while, but eventually it will be revealed. I’ve always been one to bottle up my emotions, but eventually (well, fairly quickly, to be honest), the glass shatters, and I’m left with a mess of unsorted thoughts and emotions that I attempted to resist and blatantly ignored for some time.

Resistance is a concept that I think about a lot. Typically out of fear, many of us tend to resist what can be good for us. It can be as basic as resisting eating vegetables, although you know that incorporating more vegetables into your diet will be better for your health.

 For the past few months, I have been analyzing my life and thinking about where I am resisting most. If you’re resisting something that you know deep down is good for you, you’re resisting it out of fear. It might sound crazy, but self-sabotage is a real thing. It’s something that I’ve personally struggled with for years across all aspects of my life. The concept of self-sabotage deserves a post or two on it’s own, but at the root the self-sabotage is the idea that we do not believe we are worthy or good enough to some degree.

So, I’ve been trying to acknowledge what exactly I’m resisting and then surrender to my resistance. History tends to repeat itself until the lesson is learned. The Universe will keep throwing you something until you’ve dealt with it completely. You might be resisting many things in your life, but the root of the problem may all be the same. Show up for what the Universe throws at you, and you will be rewarded with closure, peace, happiness, and clarity.   

Everyone has intuition; some of us are just more in tune with it than others. I consider my intuition to be my superpower of sorts. Your intuition will never lead you astray, you just have to be wise enough to recognize its voice and then choose to listen.

***

I had the opportunity to partner up with Real Underwear, an innovative lingerie brand that specializes in seamless bras and panties.  Talk about REAL maximum comfort and fit!  I don’t think I’ve ever felt so comfortable chilling in my bra and panties before.  I love how sleek all the designs are and the fabric is incredibly soft.  And because they’re seamless, my clothes fit better and look amazing. You will want these seamless bras and panties to wear under all of your chic summer tops, rompers and shorts. Your outfits will look super smooth without any panty and bra lines. Now that I’ve felt the true comfort of a wire-free bra, I think wire-free bras are definitely the only way to go.  Not to mention, Real Underwear’s bodysuits and camis are also super attractive and chic.  You can shop my bra here and matching panties here.  These undergarments are definitely staple items you’ll want to add to your lingerie collection–I’m thinking of getting them in all three colors myself!

Xx, Marisa

Bleeding Love

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” -Maya Angelou

File_001
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.” -Dalai Lama

File_000

“The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides” -Audrey Hepburn
188F0479-4E61-4815-B744-875441B27A03

***

This stunning white, off the shoulder dress and lace up sandals are from one of my favorite boutiques, AMIClubwear. Off the shoulder and bell sleeves are two trends that you’ll see a lot of over the Spring and Summer, and I’m obsessed!  You can find me in dresses and tops similar to this dress all summer long.  These lace up sandals are perfect for every occasion! The heel is only about three inches high (not too tall) so you can definitely pair these with shorts, dresses, rompers, and skirts either for day or night.  Not to mention, nude goes with everything!  It’s a staple item you need in your wardrobe.  You can shop these looks here and here.

Thank you for the collaboration AMIClubwear! This brand is super fashionable, chic, and outrageously affordable.  It has everything you’re looking for and more. If you want to stand out this season, look to AMIClubwear for the next addition to your wardrobe.  You will not be disappointed!  You can shop here!

***

Street art by jgoldcrown found on the side of Seamore’s (Broome & Mulberry in Soho)

@jgoldcrown #lovewall #bleedinghearts #seeyouatseamores

Xx Marisa

 

Vamos a la Playa

You can attract anything into your life.  I know I write (and think) about this concept a lot, but sometimes, even when the smallest of things happen, it’s still shocking to me as to how I attract these things into my life.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

For example, I really wanted to do a photo shoot on a beach.  Next thing I know, I’m booking my flight to Aruba (although for pleasure, not work), but the opportunity to do a small impromptu shoot in this gorgeous red dress from AMI Clubwear presented itself.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

The Universe is literally like a magazine, and you can just pick and choose what you want.  Whether it’s positive or negative, you receive what you think about most.  Recently, an opportunity presented itself to me regarding something I had been wanting to try for the past year or so.  Only when I became completely confident in what I wanted and very clear about it did it present itself.  Smaller opportunities began to pop up, and I began to act on these.  With this momentum, I am now in a place where I an receiving exactly what I want.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

This jaw-dropping red, elegant maxi dress is from AMIClubwear.  Red hot, baby!  Red is one of my favorite colors, and I feel like I’m constantly wearing it (or black, considering I’m a New Yorker).  This dress is absolutely stunning and perfect for a special event or night out on the town.  It’s made of chiffon, so it’s super light-weight and calls for the perfect photo op with any windy Marilyn Monroe moment. I love maxi dresses because you can easily transition from day to night with the right shoes and accessories.

If I wasn’t on the beach/in the water taking pictures in this gorgeous dress, I’d pair it with these leopard print heels pictured below.  I’m typically not a huge fan of prints, but I am 100% in love with these.  Sometimes a pop of print is exactly what an outfit needs.  Golden or clear heels are also a big trend you’ll be seeing in the upcoming months. Not to mention, they are extremely comfortable!

File_001

Thank you for the collaboration AMIClubwear! This brand is super fashionable, chic, and outrageously affordable.  It has everything you’re looking for and more. If you want to stand out this season, look to AMIClubwear for the next addition to your wardrobe.  You will not be disappointed!  You can shop here!

Xx Marisa

All For Color with a Pop of Pink

Hi friends!  Long time no write–I’ve been so busy!  As many of you probably know I took a trip to Aruba (travel blog post to come)!  Talk about paradise!  This 19-mile island just 15 miles off the coast of Venezuela is a beach lovers’ delight.  Lined with stunning beaches, white sand and clear blue water, I found my piece of tranquility far from the rat race of the City.  I am grateful for my time in Aruba.  It was truly an enjoyable and relaxing experience. My days were filled with sight-seeing adventures, delicious cuisine, and R&R on the miles of tranquil and picturesque beaches.  It was my first time to the island, and needless to say, I’m definitely going back!

While in Aruba, I had the opportunity to visit Renaissance Island, a private island exclusive to Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino guests.  The hotel sells a limited number of day passes to non-Renaissance guests (which aren’t necessarily guaranteed).  In order to guarantee a day pass as a guest of Renaissance Island, you need to book a spa treatment at their Spa Cove.  I was lucky to secure a pass and book an outdoor massage which was set at the end of a private walkway with an expansive view of the ocean.  Talk about relaxing!  What are you waiting for?–treat yourself, you’re on an island after all!

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

The main attraction on the island are the flamingos!  Yes, flamingos!  There are only about eight or so of them, but you can get insanely close and even feed them!  How cool, right?!  I had such a fun time taking photos and feeding them.  And don’t worry, they don’t bite..much 😉

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

This little island is a slice of heaven.  Amazing food, delicious tropical drinks, magnificently clear water, flamingos, iguanas, spa treatments–they have everything you need, and you can spend the whole day there!  I’ll be writing more about my further adventures as well as other attractions and my experience in general in my Aruba travel post.

My adorable swimsuit and hot pink cover up are from All For Color!  This is the cutest online boutique that has everything you need for your next island vacation or spring break getaway.  The brand incorporates so many bright, fun, and energetic colors in their clothing and accessories.  The bikini I am wearing is super adorable and can be worn off the shoulder.  The unique clothing and swimsuits from All for Color are sure to turn heads and are a must have for the upcoming summer months!  And there are so many fun patterns and designs to choose from.  Life is too short, so enjoy it in color!   I love All for Color because they have fun, unusual, affordable clothing that appeals to women of all ages.  Shop my bikini here and kimono here!

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

With sunny days quickly approaching, I am excited to announce a $200 Beachin’ Wardrobe Giveaway in collaboration with All For Color! (April 10-17, 2017)

Interested?! Sign up here!  The contest starts tomorrow (Monday, April 10,2017).  You will receive additional entries for visiting and following each involved blogger on IG. You may also earn extra entries for referring friends to the giveaway. One winner will be chosen at random for entries. If chosen, you have 5 days to claim your $200 e-gift card or a new winner will be picked.

Please Note: This contest is in no way sponsored, administered or endorsed by Instagram. Inc or any of the companies in the photo. By entering, entrants confirm they are 18+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s term of use. No purchase necessary. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Xx Marisa